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FilMart: HMV Online Expands Into Original Series Production

HMV Digital China Group Limited is boosting its video on demand business with the launch of original series production, joining Asia’s OTT race alongside other international players such as Fox Networks Group and HBO Asia.

The Hong Kong-based group, previously called China 3D Digital Entertainment, will produce three web series titles this year to be available on its VoD platform as well as OTT platforms in China and Southeast Asia. Each show has a production budget of $64,000 (HK$500,000) per 30-minute episode.

Already released is comedy “Hong Kong West Side Stories,” starring actor-singer Louis Cheung. It is based on a short story collection by Hong Kong cult author Xiangxi Murakami, whose previous hit title “Due West” was previously picked up by the same group and adapted to erotic comedy “Due West: Our Sex Journey” in 2012.

Two other titles slated for production this year are “Sexy Central,” branded as Hong Kong’s answer to HBO hit series “Sex and the City,” and “Under the Same Roof,” a remake of the 1993 Japanese popular series of the same name. Both series will feature casts composed mainly of talents managed by the company. The series will be available on the group’s on-demand platform, HMVOD.

HMVOD’s CEO Tracy Ho told Variety that series will be available in both free and paid formats. The full series will be available to paid subscribers for binge-watching while free users will be served advertisements and can view one new episode per week.

Ho said the content will be released in China by streaming giant iQiyi. It will also be available in Southeast Asia, but partnering platforms are yet to be confirmed.

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