China responsible for over half of all new drama productions | Programming | News | Rapid TV News
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Research from Ampere Analysis has revealed that China is responsible for over half of the world’s brand-new drama productions, with its leading broadcasters and OTT services commissioning nearly 300 new series in the last six months alone, as many as all of its international peers combined.

ampere china drama 22Oct2019In the six months leading up to September 2019, China had 432 upcoming scripted TV commissions, compared with 359 in the US. Over the same period, a further 645 were commissioned in other markets worldwide. These commissions were heavily skewed towards drama, representing 67% of all upcoming titles and compared with just 16% of upcoming US titles, and 30% in other international markets.

In keeping with APAC regional trends, romance accounts for 14% of all Chinese in-production series compared with just 6% in US and also contrast to such content’s popularity in international markets, crime and thriller only represented a tenth of Chinese scripted commissions. Very few comedy and sci-fi and fantasy commissions were made.

Ampere Analysis also found that linear channels remain by far the largest commissioners in the Chinese market. Just 8% of new programmes were commissioned by SVOD services such as iQIYI, Tencent, and Youku, while in the same period in the US nearly half of shows commissioned in the last six months were commissioned by OTT players. Despite this, fragmentation of the market meant that SVOD services were the most active individual Chinese commissioners, followed by the larger linear TV groups such as Hunan TV, Dragon TV and Zhejiang TV.

Despite the SVOD services being the most active individual commissioners —and indeed expected to gain quickly on international competitors over the next twelve months —the survey showed that most Chinese content was actually commissioned by a large number of small, local broadcasters.

“However producers looking to target the market should be aware that the underlying preference for drama is driven primarily by the regional broadcast network,” noted Ampere Analysis research director Richard Cooper. “The Chinese SVOD services, which have some of the largest subscriber bases in the world and now represent nearly one in 10 new series green-lit in China, echo the global and US TV giants in terms of the genres they are commissioning.”