In 2019, iQiyi celebrated passing the landmark of 100 million paid members. Now, it is celebrating being crowned Digital Media Innovator of the Year at the 2020 Digital Media Awards.
iQiyi's innovation comes in many forms. The 'Netflix of China', which is majority owned by Chinese search giant Baidu, has expanded over the past few years from a pure-play online streaming platform to a service that encompasses ecommerce, games, mobile live broadcast, comics, reading, movie tickets, short-form video and virtual-reality headsets. In 2019, it struck a deal to broadcast its video content in the Shanghai Metro transit system, and launched its own vertical video mobile channel.
DIGITAL MEDIA AWARDS 2020
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The platform has heavily invested in artificial intelligence, which it uses to improve its recommendation engine, help producers understand user preferences, and guide the creative process of film and TV making. It has even used AI to cast its shows and films. iQiyi also won Bronze in the Most Innovative Media Technology category at the Awards, for its ZoomAI technology innovation.
When it comes to technology, iQiyi has invested in its audio-visual experiece, offering content in Dolby Atmos, Blu-ray 1080P, 4K high-definition viewing and 8K surround VR, as well as exploring how technologies such as 5G can upgrade the entertainment experience.
It has pioneered interactive storytelling formats, such as the ability for users to unlock multiple endings to a piece of content, and a 'shoppable' format for users to purchase products.
In 2019, it released more than 200 projects, including 31 variety shows, 102 large-scale drama series, five vertical short films and more than 90 animations, documentaries and other types of entertainment content.
As well as innovating in content, iQiyi has also investing in its product offering, including striking deals with third parties across e-commerce, hotel, travel and music companies in order to offer deeper experiences for its users, and launching innovative ad formats like Innisfree's VR ad.