BEIJING, May 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — iQIYI, Inc. (NASDAQ: IQ) ("iQIYI" or the "Company"), an innovative market-leading online entertainment service in China, announced that an all-girl idol group composed of the nine winners of its hit original variety show Youth With You Season 2 (the "Show") debuted on the eve of May 30th. The 9-member idol group, THE9, includes XIN Liu, Esther Yu, Kiki Xu, Yan Yu, Shaking, Babymonster An, Xiaotang Zhao, Snow Kong and K Lu, who were selected out of more than 100 trainees through viewer votes during the Show and THE9 will become the ambassador for Mengniu Zhenguoli. On the eve of May 30th, global users are able to watch the Show in Chinese, English and Thai on the international version of iQIYI App, witnessing the debut of THE9.
Youth With You Season 2, a variety show focusing on female pop idol trainees, presents iQIYI users and fans with the highly engaging and entertaining journey of the trainees’ persistence and hard work as they compete to stand out in the Show. Youth With You Season 2 demonstrates that young Chinese women are confidently embracing independence and diverse values, and are daring to dream big.
"Youth With You Season 2" hit trending lists on Twitter 393 times
Youth With You Season 2 is also available for streaming on iQIYI’s international platforms. iQIYI has localized the Show for international viewers by translating it into multiple foreign languages and accounting for the cultural context and language habits of its target markets. Overseas audiences were able to engage with the Show and root for their favorite contestant by casting their votes towards a contestant popularity ranking on the international version of the iQIYI App. According to the popularity ranking, the most popular contestant in international markets is XIN Liu.
So far, official videos released by Youth With You Season 2 has attracted over 300 million views on YouTube, with 73 video clips reaching more than one million views each. In addition, over 393 hashtags related to the Show trended on Twitter in 15 countries across Asia, Europe, South America and North America. Meanwhile, on the popular social platform in China, posts with hashtags related to the Show achieved a readership of 51.66 billion.
Moreover, 12 lucky overseas audiences from Malaysia, Thailand, the U.S., the Philippines, among others who applied for the ‘calls for Youth With You Season 2 cloud recording audience’ programs via platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram participated as audiences in the cloud recording session of the contestants’ performances.
Using technology and ecosystem to create a one-stop immersive idol culture experience
Youth With You Season 2 uses a variety of innovative technology-driven production methods to enhance viewer engagement. This includes features such as the AI Radar "Qiguan", the multi-perspective watching mode, celebrity chatrooms, Suike AI immersion, as well as AR and VR technologies. For example, Qiguan allows users to have quick access to a contestant’s biography and information on songs that is playing on the Show as background music. The feature has proven to be very successful and was used nearly one million times in the first week of its launch.
The multi-perspective watching mode, which is used for the first time in a variety show, provides users with a more personalized viewing experience by displaying a close-up of their favorite trainee’s performance in a separate section of the screen. The celebrity chatroom feature enables a simultaneous watching and commenting experience. Popular trainees used the chatrooms to interact with users in real time, creating a closer connection with the audience.
In addition, iQIYI has built a comprehensive IP ecosystem around Youth With You Season 2 in areas such as short videos, comics, e-commerce, and merchandise. By collaborating with IQIYI’s ecosystem such as iQIYI Comics, Ba Da (iQIYI’s cartoon app), Zeal Beauty (iQIYI’s cosmetics knowledge app), iQIYI Paopao (iQIYI’s entertainment community for fans to follow and interact with celebrities) and Fansfun (iQIYI’s spin-off merchandise app tailor-made for fans), iQIYI provides its users and fan groups with diverse and fresh interactive experiences, maximizing the fun and reach of the Show.
Using innovative marketing approach and cross-over initiatives to maximize commercial value of IPs
To create the most interactive entertainment experience possible, the Show worked with more than 30 brand advertisers and IP licensed advertisers including Mengniu Zhenguoli Huaguoqingru, DARLIE, SOFY and Kiehl’s and jointly developed over 700 SKU products with IP licensed advertisers across a range of categories including clothing, food, and cosmetics. This helped promote the Show among younger audiences while also meeting their demand to stay up to date with the latest fashions.
iQIYI has also been exploring new forms of cross-over social marketing by leveraging the strengths of its business ecosystem. For example, Zeal Beauty invited the trainees to share their beauty tips on the platform as "makeup masters", allowing fans to learn about the trainees’ behind-the-scenes life. Meanwhile, Fansfun App launched Youth Capsule Toy, Youth Postcard and other spin-off merchandise. The show also unveiled its official avatar YUNI for use in toys as well as the accessories worn by the trainees. These initiatives helped to build a deep connection between the Show, the trainees and the audience and create value across all the industries in iQIYI’s ecosystem. Moreover, trainees XIN Liu and Esther Yu collaborated with Li Jiaqi, China’s top beauty influencer and livestreamer with over 16.76 million followers on the social media, to sell products on the popular livestreaming channel. The collaboration attracted more than 30 million viewers. With a diversified range of entertainment content, Youth With You Season 2 maximizes the IP’s commercial value by collaborating with relevant businesses across the value chain.
In addition to Youth With You Season 2, iQIYI has launched other high-quality hit shows such as Idol Producer, The Rap of China and FOURTRY in recent years, making it a leading trendsetter in youth culture. The Youth With You series have kicked off the development of idol culture in China within just three years and created a new benchmark for idol variety shows. The series meet users’ needs for diverse entertainment while inspiring global audiences with positive messages such as self-belief and the perusal of one’s dreams, and further drive the robust development of China’s idol market.
About iQIYI, Inc.
iQIYI, Inc. is an innovative market-leading online entertainment service in China. Its corporate DNA combines creative talent with technology, fostering an environment for continuous innovation and the production of blockbuster content. iQIYI’s platform features highly popular original content, as well as a comprehensive library of other professionally-produced content, partner-generated content and user-generated content. The Company distinguishes itself in the online entertainment industry by its leading technology platform powered by advanced AI, big data analytics and other core proprietary technologies. iQIYI attracts a massive user base with tremendous user engagement, and has developed a diversified monetization model including membership services, online advertising services, content distribution, live broadcasting, online games, IP licensing, online literature and e-commerce etc.
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