China’s Maoyan has deepened its relationship with social media, games and music giant Tencent as part of its strategy to expand from movie ticketing. It aims to become a comprehensive center of “Internet-empowered entertainment services.”
Maoyan calls the new relationship a strategic alliance with Tencent. In fact, the two companies already have a closely related history.
Maoyan previously bought Tencent-backed ticketing competitor Weying. Tencent was also an investor in Maoyan, prior to Maoyan’s Hong Kong IPO in January, and, after the IPO, controlled 14% of Maoyan shares. And Maoyan dedicated four pages of its IPO prospectus to explaining its investment, operational, and payment services relationship with Tencent.
According to the new strategy, Maoyan will now cooperate with businesses across Tencent’s ecosystem, including Tencent Investment; Tencent Pictures; Tencent Music Entertainment; Tencent Video, and others.
“Over the past few years, Maoyan has grown from an online movie ticketing service provider to a leading and innovative one-stop platform for Internet-empowered entertainment services,” said Zheng Zhihao, CEO of Maoyan, at a press conference Tuesday in Beijing.
Zheng said that Maoyan’s strategy to become a diverse platform, servicing the entire entertainment industry in China, is built on five key pillars: online ticketing platform, a products and services platform, a data platform, a marketing platform, and a funding platform.
The products and services platform is a business-to-business operation offering services that help industry clients improve operations and efficiency. These range from “solutions for script analysis, cast selection [decision-making], promotion and distribution, and scheduling,” it said. Maoyan also provides a software-as-a-service solution, and smart devices for cinemas and venue operators.
Maoyan already collects large amounts of data from its position as one of China’s leading movie ticketing firms – it claims 60% market share – and has developed a database and analysis tools for the entertainment industry.
That position in ticketing also puts Maoyan in a position to support film marketing campaigns. Its resources in this sector include portals, short video KOL accounts, and mini-programs. It said that its mini-program on WeChat has more than 200 million users, and its short-video accounts in TikTok and other platforms have more than 100 million followers. Its offline resources cover 9,500 cinemas and 460 colleges in 130 Chinese cities.
In entertainment funding, Maoyan says it will provide financial support for content creators, promising projects and partners.