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IQIYI CEO Gong Yu Says Artificial Intelligence Will Reshape Showbiz

Gong Yu, founder and CEO of China’s leading streaming platform iQIYI, said at Mipcom content market on Tuesday that artificial intelligence “will reshape the entertainment industry over the next 10-15 years, much more so than the internet did over the past three decades.”

There was a shift underway from the “internet era” to the “A.I. era,” he asserted. In the former, users browse and search for content from the company’s library of content; in the latter, creators and platforms provide “tailor-made content” and “intelligent recommendations” to the users.

Among the uses of A.I. technology in entertainment would be “Intelligent Creation,” such as the deployment of A.I. in casting, script evaluation, and traffic and box-office predictions. But it would also be utilized in other areas, such as customer service, monetization, distribution, and content production, such as keyword and thumbnail generation.

He said that the traditional entertainment and online entertainment businesses would continue to merge in the future. He cited as an example the fact that more than 80% of tickets for movie theaters in China are now bought online.

He said that the oligopoly in China’s online video market – where three players control around 80% of the market – would likely continue. It was unlikely to fragment, he said, due to the high cost of entry. But it would not consolidate further either “because producers and advertisers won’t favor a market that only has one dominant player.”

He said that the entertainment business in China is set to grow from $154 billion in 2016 to an estimated $403 billion in 2022, and that the share taken by online video would grow from 15% to 25%, according to iResearch forecasts.

He asserted that iQIYI was “well-positioned to capture the huge entertainment market” in China. This was due, he said, to its leading position in the market; its “advanced business model” that allowed it to “capture market opportunities”; an in-depth understanding of Chinese entertainment; its “top-notch original production capability”; and “disciplined and efficient investment in content.”

He said that one of the company’s strengths was its “diversified monetization model,” which he referred to as “Netflix plus.” As well as subscription and advertising, the revenue sources include publishing, content distribution, IP licensing, online gaming, e-commerce, and talent agencies.

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