iQIYI to launch Shu Shan Zhan online in China


Rebecca Hawkes

| 09 September 2015

China's iQIYI is to bring the highly anticipated series Shu Shan Zhan to online audiences several months before its premiere on TV.

"The ability to view premium content before it airs on broadcast TV has proven highly popular among iQIYI subscribers," said Xianghua Yang, iQIYI senior vice president. "Our recent trial with Notes of Tomb Raiders demonstrated that Chinese viewers are willing to pay to watch high quality content as soon as possible. We will continue to explore new ways to offer our members an even better online viewing experience."

The deal, which gives the Baidu-owned online video provider exclusive online rights to the series, marks the first time a new, star-driven TV series will be aired online before television, claims iQIYI. Before, highly anticipated TV series have been either broadcast first on TV or simultaneously on both platforms.

The home-produced show Notes of Tomb Raiders, released in June 2015, was aimed at online viewers rather than for a TV audience, to help iQIYI develop its subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service.

"[Notes of Tomb Raiders] has enjoyed enormous popularity in China and has helped to drive the strong popularity of iQIYI's subscription service," a company statement said.