Once the province of major satellite TV networks, reality shows on video streaming platforms have been gaining ground, as the new media players are increasingly focused on developing their original content to build audiences and attract brands.
The stronger content offerings have created more marketing opportunities for brands to reach younger and digitally savvy audiences, as we’ve seen with Burberry becoming the first luxury brand to partner with a domestic reality show (Youku’s “Street Dance of China” (这!就是街舞 )), Nike’s appearances on iQiyi’s hit idol competition “Youth With You” (青春有你) and Tencent Video’s fashion-focused “Where Are The Trendsetters?” (潮玩人类在哪里). Looking ahead to what the last quarter of 2020 will bring in terms of reality shows from these platforms, we see some new formats along with several returning hits.
iQiyi plans to release the seventh season of its breakout hit talk show “U Can U BB” (奇葩说) and the second season of streetwear trend show “Fourtry” (潮流合伙人) before the end of 2020. However, it looks like “Fourtry” will be postponed until November, and no cast members have been announced apart from Liu Yuxin, the winner of the latest edition of “Youth With You.” While the first season saw celebrities curating the selection of items to be sold in a Tokyo boutique, the upcoming season may see them take a more hands-on role in creating fashion pieces while they manage a shop in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu, with a greater focus on tying streetwear trends to China’s cultural heritage. iQiyi has been keeping details under wraps while reportedly hiring for the show.
iQiyi and Youku are also teaming up to broadcast “HaHaHaHaHa” (哈哈哈哈哈), an on-the-road comedy reality show which features Deng Chao, Chen He, and Lu Han. Fans are looking forward to the onscreen reunion of three original cast members from the celebrity challenge show “Keep Running” (奔跑吧), and have spotted them filming in the city of Nanchang.
Tencent Video’s second season of “Actors Please Take Your Places” (演员请就位) stars actress Zhao Wei and director Chen Kaige as mentors, with fashion e-commerce platform Vipshop as the title sponsor. The format features 40 actors who are competing for a role offered by the celebrity mentors, who act as directors on the show. The film and television industry is known to be a highly competitive field and the series aims to help with their professional development and commercial viability. The show has generated a great amount of buzz so far, with around 20 hot topics related to the show trending across Weibo the day after its premiere, drawing 12.2 billion views. Among them were the addition of veteran actress Myolie Wu (Hu Xing’er) as a contestant (leveraged by Vipshop to include her in a promotional video linked to the show) and Zhao Wei’s commentary on how female actors struggle commercially as a result of beauty brand preferences for male spokespersons.
“This! Is Slam Dunk” (这!就是灌篮3), part of Youku’s “This! Is…” (这!就是) series that originated with “Street Dance of China” (这!就是街舞), will soon launch its third season with actor Deng Lun hosting. The youth-oriented competitive basketball reality show showcases team management process with four teams facing off against each other, and has snack brand Kouweiwang as the title sponsor.