The male protagonist is an ordinary security guard who accidentally traveled back to ancient times and crushed his IQ all the way to become an important minister in the court. Finally on this day, he is going to face the big villain!
At a tense juncture, the plot came to an abrupt end, and Douyin unexpectedly popped up "The current content needs to be watched for a fee." There are only a few episodes left in the finale. Will you pay or not pay this money?
Last week, the news of "Paid for Douyin Test Skit" caused heated discussions across the Internet.
It stands to reason that paying to watch short dramas is the same as paying to watch novels. It is the audience/reader's wish. However, many netizens think that the content of Douyin is crude and non-nutritive tittytainment, which is not worth paying for, or even He shouted "I don't want to spend a dollar!"
Short plays of 3-5 minutes are paid according to the number of episodes, starting at a minimum of 1 yuan per episode, and the entire play can be unlocked at once. Could Douyin's short-play payment model be successful?
You might as well put down the vibrato in your hand, and with doubts, let's take a look at how Quibi, the "predecessor" in the skit pay industry, does it.
Stepped on all the pits, the failed "predecessor" Quibi
In April 2020, a star-studded skit paid product Quibi was born in the United States.
The name of this product means "quick bite". It focuses on short and medium videos. Each episode is about 10 minutes. There are short dramas, reality shows, and documentaries. It is specifically aimed at the fragmented time of commuting to work.
Quibi's starlight shine is reflected in all aspects. The founder Jeffrey Katzenberg was a former Disney executive and co-founder of DreamWorks. And CEO Meg Whitman, formerly the CEO of eBay and Hewlett-Packard.
▲ Left: Meg Whitman. Right: Jeffrey Katzenberg.
With $1.75 billion in financing from companies such as Disney, NBC Universal, Sony Pictures, WarnerMedia, Google, etc., with abundant Hollywood production resources, and blessings from various star directors, Quibi at the time seemed absolutely potential Become the "Netflix of Short Video World".
Unlike Douyin short dramas that pay per episode, Quibi uses a subscription system: there are advertising members for $4.99/month, non-advertising members for $7.99/month, and newcomers can try it free for 90 days. However, only 6 months after its launch, Quibi failed and ended disastrously. It eventually sold as streaming media platform Roku for less than US$100 million.
▲ Quibi interface
Why can't it make young people willing to pay?
The founder Katzenberg attributed Quibi's failure to the epidemic-because of home isolation, people do not have to commute to work, and the large amount of time directly used for watching movies and TV shows has increased, and naturally there is no need to seek fragmented entertainment. This claim was quickly slapped, because TikTok, which was so shattered that it could not be shattered, conquered the world by its rapid growth during the epidemic.
The fundamental reason is more like Quibi does not understand young people.
Quibi has some crazy "product defects" that have been complained about. It may be due to concerns about Internet piracy. Quibi does not have a sharing function, and the screen becomes black when taking screenshots. How can young people chat about the good-looking, crying, and funny plots on social networks? In addition, Quibi can only be played on mobile devices and refuses to cast screens on computers and TVs. Also, after spending a lot of money on Super Bowl TV commercials, it seems that they have never thought about showing their presence in places where young people such as Instagram and YouTube are haunted.
In order to produce high-quality content, Quibi has actually worked hard. In 2020, Quibi’s original short play was nominated for 10 Emmy Awards, and finally won 2 of them; this year, it received 8 Emmy nominations, which is considered recognized in the industry. But is this content that young people want to watch in fragmented time?
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Tien Tzuo, CEO of subscription management company Zuora, said that Quibi made a typical mistake: focusing too much on the product vision and ignoring the real needs of users.
Quibi sees streaming as a competitor, but ignores social platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and YouTube, which are also vying for attention. This year young people no longer have a halo fascination with Hollywood, and are used to consuming content created by up owners. However, Quibi is still using the traditional film and television model to produce content, and does not really understand the short video format. There is no idea of letting creators participate.
Some netizens even vehemently claimed that Quibi uses the old man’s thinking to guess what young people like. Splitting a 2-hour movie into multiple 10-minutes can be done by any streaming platform with a pause button.
The new era of unstoppable skits
What Quibi failed to accomplish after burning out more than one billion dollars, Douyin may not be impossible.
There are not many paid skits on Douyin for the time being, and the second season of "Super Security" I encountered chose to set the last 5 episodes as paid.
The comment area after unlocking showed that some netizens left a message saying, "I have never spent money on Douyin, and this money is worth the money." "I couldn't help it in the end."
▲ Pay for Douyin skits, you can get 10 Douyin coins when you recharge 1 yuan
In terms of paying for short dramas, Douyin is actually the younger brother who is late. As early as May last year, Kuaishou launched the short play payment function. The short play payment is generally sold separately for the finale, and the price ranges from 1-3 yuan.
▲ Kuaishou’s skit pay page
In November, Tencent Video also launched a pay-per-play function for short dramas. The 30 and 40 episodes of the short dramas are free for members to watch, and non-members can watch the full episodes for only 3 yuan.
▲ Pay for Tencent video short series
Although there are no big Hollywood stars, compared with Quibi, the production of short dramas on domestic platforms actually has its own advantages.
For example, most of the short dramas are based on online articles such as Sweet Chong, Master Ba, Revenge, Crossing, and Xian Xia. Douyin collaborates with Tomato Novels, Tencent Weishi has the Reading Group, and Kuaishou’s strategic partner. It's rice reading novels. Popular web-based culture, film and television, on the one hand, can provide a large number of creative themes, on the other hand, the text can be regarded as a selection of the market, and it can also avoid detours.
In addition, in order to encourage more high-quality content, Douyin, Kuaishou, and Tencent Weishi have respectively launched short play creator support programs. From a simple observation, in addition to the masters’ self-made short plays on these platforms, there are also professional Internet production teams entering the stage. The actors are not all people you don’t know. There are celebrities such as Jin Jing, Zhang Yunlong, Chen He, etc. .
▲ Douyin skit "Dream!" Jingjing
Kuaishou data shows that more than 210 million people watch skits on the platform every day, and the total viewing time is 35 million hours.
Some people make short dramas, while others watch short dramas. Douyin and Kuaishou may naturally be closer to young people, but the problem they need to solve is still very similar to Quibi: how to make people willing to pay for the short drama.
The plot is vulgar, the actors are clumsy, the content is shoddy, the logic is not logical, the blind pursuit of brainlessness, only catches the eyeballs and "deceives" the audience's emotions… These are the impressions left by some of the vibrato and Kuaishou content to the audience. With the admission of more professional creators, can the overall quality of the skit ecology be improved and the effect of good coins driving out bad coins?
▲ Left: Douyin skit. Right: Kuaishou skit.
Quibi is indeed betting on a proposition: fragmented, fast-food content consumption methods will always exist, and even intensify.
At present, Netflix, Amazon, HBO, etc. are all conducting their own short drama experiments, such as the form of "Love, Death, Robot", each episode lasts about 10 minutes, which is actually a kind of short drama experiment-but more More often as a supplement to the content of the entire platform, to provide users with more and different choices.
Inferior, vulgar, and unsatisfactory content will naturally lose users. The success of Douyin and Kuaishou's short play payment model can also be left to the audience to decide, so that everyone can vote with the amount of broadcast and their willingness to pay.
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