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Online streaming sites embrace opportunities in new era

New technology advancements and industry shifts are providing new growth opportunities for online audio and video producers, government officials and company executives said. 

New technology advancements and industry shifts are providing new growth opportunities for online audio and video producers, government officials and industry insiders told the China Network Audio-Visual Industry Forum during the 2018 Shanghai International Film & TV Festival. 

China’s online audio and video industry is entering a new development phase with booming new business models and viewers' preferences are also more diversified than before, said Cui Chenghao, executive director of the State Administration of Radio and Television’s research and development center. 

He also called for online streaming websites to step up their efforts to remove vulgar or obscene contents as well as those with wrong values and ethnic discrimination. 

China’s user base of online streaming of audio and video programs have expanded from 349 million to 579 million in the past five years. 

The government's enhanced efforts to regulate and normalize the market development as well as Internet infrastructure upgrades would also push forward the industry. 

Shanghai Media Group President Gao Yunfei said in a keynote speech that the local media conglomerate has been leveraging technologies to set up integrated editorial platform to respond to market and viewers' shifts. 

Last year, a total of 718 sets of online dramas were released in China, according to the research and development center at the State Administration of Radio and Television, and movie titles distributed through online channels reached 6,566. 

Gong Yu, founder and chief executive officer of iQiyi, said its income from paid membership now almost equals its online advertising revenue in the first quarter, and technology advancements have brought new business models to diversify its revenue stream. 

He also called for his counterparts to increase investment to produce in-house episodes and to diversify offerings to cater to different viewing habits from various groups of consumers, as well as stepping up efforts to cultivate professionals and to protect intellectual property rights. 

Yang Weidong, president of Alibaba's digital entertainment business group, said it plans to leverage users' preference and enthusiasm for existing online production to develop a series of high quality programs with long-lasting influence. 

It also plans to combine resources with Alibaba's online music streaming affiliate Xiami and other e-commerce core businesses to drive future growth. 

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