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Marketing Television Content: The Development of Content-sharing Industries for Chinese Costume Dramas in the Media Convergence Era in China

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posted on 06.08.2020 by Hui Lin
My data was collected to study content-sharing industries of Chinese Costume Dramas, and their consumption market.

Abstract:
This study attempts to investigate the development of content-sharing industries for Chinese Costume Dramas in the media convergence era. “Content-sharing industries” in this study refers to cultural industries which share verbal, aural, and visual content with television dramas. In 2018, after the Story of Yanxi Palace hit the markets, its content was capitalized on by various cultural industries including the advertising industry, the photography industry, tourism, and catering business. In my study, this content-sharing phenomenon between the television industry and cultural industries is regarded as the organizational dimension of convergence culture in the media convergence era. Thus, researching Chinese Costume Dramas, the study examines content-sharing industries with the exploration of convergence culture.

Convergence culture is firstly developed in the media domain when scholars analyze the new development of the television industry in the media convergence era. Henry Jenkins defines the “convergence culture” from three dimensions, notably content flow on various media platforms, the collaboration between media companies, and multiple roles of audiences. Suzanne Scott developed his theory to coin the term “convergence culture industry.” This study tries to adapt them to the Chinese media landscape and develops their theories by adding the third force —— the government. Thus, the study understands convergence culture from three dimensions, technologically, organizationally, and interpersonally, in order to emphasize new media technologies, cultural industries, political intervention, and empowered viewers which are the integral parts of convergence culture in the media convergence era.

This study argues that the development of content-sharing industries is the organizational convergence, and its consumption market is developed relying on interpersonal convergence of audience roles as both dramas’ viewers and related-industry consumers. Focusing on these two perspectives of convergence culture, three major issues will be addressed: Firstly, why cultural industries adopt content from Chinese Costume Dramas to develop content-sharing industries? Secondly, how to develop content-sharing industries for Chinese Costume Dramas in the Chinese media landscape. Finally, in terms of consumption market, how to utilize drama viewers and transform them into consumers of drama-related industries. To address these questions, the study uses in-depth interviews to investigate several types of content-sharing industries and explores the opportunities and challenges to their development. And, the online survey is also adopted to examine the consumption markets of these industries.

This study argues that the reasons for the development of content-sharing industries are mainly associated with the new media environment that contributes to the advent of convergence culture, and the cultural policy from the Chinese government. As to the industries’ development, the study argues that content-sharing industries can grasp opportunities by using dramas’ stars, audience resources, and audience measurement systems. Besides, they also need to respond to challenges of underdeveloped regulations on intellectual property rights and their underestimation of the mass markets. As research finding shows that drama viewers occupy a larger proportion of the consumption markets of content-sharing industries, the study argues that content-sharing industries for Chinese Costume Dramas should transform drama viewers into consumers by capitalizing on their emotional attachment to the drama content.

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