Over the past year, IP popped into the most popular term in the entertainment industry. Films, games, and other derivatives products about some popular IPs have turned into standards of this industry. Although it is true that IP comes from many things, web fictions has now become main source of IP.
Wu Wenhui, CEO of China Reading Limited, accepted an exclusive interview from journalists of First Financial on January 11. He expressed his view that the value of web fictions has been taken seriously as their copyright prices have increased several folds. The annual incomes of some cyberspace writers have been more than one hundred million.
Wu Wenhui said:” Cyberspace writers have become the most creative dynamic in China nowadays. There are no similar or more lively groups in other platforms. Therefore, main contents would still come from network literature. Of course I can’t say it’s the only source, but there will be more and more materials come from web fictions.”
In the past few years, the large fan base behind IP almost means the guarantee to make a profit out of its related products. The mainstream business model in mobile Internet era has changed from the “data economy” into “fans economy”. People think channels and volumes are important in this PC era. It does not matter what is the contents. but IP helped them stablize and can be even considered the secret weapon against channel hegemony.
Both film companies and Internet corporate, or even BAT, all hope that They would keep the customers through IP. At present, the BAT has been fully equipped. Tencent literature, baidu literature, and Ali literature set up one after another. Although they have different focus, They all want to make use of IP to link literature with entertainment industry, such as games, films.
Cheng Wu, Tencent’s Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, took the first lead to propose the “pan-entertainment”(multi-entertainment) strategy, in which IP is the core. Besides, a number of companies were reorganized into China’s largest network company, China Reading Limited. Cheng Wu told journalists that it took Tencent five years to complete organizing this self-circulated new ecology on the basis of the original business, which is the overall arrangement of game, animation, literature, film and television, and electric business. Tencent is working with other companies to create this “pan-entertainment”. And companies dealing with web fictions are undoubtedly the most active IP source in this digital era.
The initiative taken by cyberspace writers also directly pushed up copyright prizes and their income.
Wu Wenhui, CEO of China Reading Limited, told reporters that the highest annual income of writers in his company has reached over one hundred million yuan. And alomost one billion was paid to his writers in 2016. There are more than 100 writers whose annual incomes are over million in China Reading Limited, among which the proportion of new writers is as high as 50%.
The year 2014 is known as the first year of IP. The recent three saw 5 to 10 times increase in the price of IP. Wu Wenhui held it a return of value recognication, and compared to China ‘s future trillion cultural market, the price is still far from reaching the limit as IP is the most fundamental source of creative works.
As for how those writers’ annual incomes could reach over a hundred million yuan, Wu Wenhui said: “The income sources are now much diversified. Apart from the past remuneration from publishers, there are also e-payment and online reward from online reading platform like “QQ reading”, Duokan Reader and MicroBlog and other incomes form adaptation and endorsement. To some extent, I think this star-like transition is the advantage for writers in the future.”
For the future IP development, Chen Shaofeng, Vice President of Peking University Cultural Industry Research Institute, thinks that rotational IP consumption includes multi-level rotation and pre-consumption according to the content and consumption incubation. For example, from web fictions and audio products, and then being adapted into comics, network drama and film. Chen Shaofeng said: “this rotational process is benefitful, because you can see consumers’ response, so as to forecast whether your IP is welcomed by the market or not. This is also hatching values.