Stephen Chow’s microdrama success drives $5B market boom

Even industry moguls like Stephen Chow cannot resist the lucrative allure of the microdrama format. Who can brands partner with for success?

The microdrama market in China is experiencing unprecedented growth, attracting major industry players, including renowned Chinese film producer Stephen Chow.

His recent foray into mini-drama production has been met with remarkable success. The hashtag “Stephen Chow’s Microdrama Breaks 1 Million Views After Being Online One Hour” (周星驰短剧上线一小时播放量破百万) has rapidly gained traction, amassing over 35 million views, proving that even industry moguls like Chow cannot resist the lucrative allure of the microdrama format.

According to data from iiMedia Research, the market size for mini-dramas reached 37.4 billion RMB ($5.1 billion) in 2023 and is projected to surpass 100 billion RMB ($13.7 billion) by 2027. Initially popular among youths in third- and fourth-tier cities, Douyin miniseries are now capturing the attention of viewers in larger urban areas (first- and second-tier) who enjoy the fast-paced, engaging storylines.

C-beauty brands have been quick to leverage this trend, with brands like Kans (韩束) generating impressive sales after collaborating with popular microdrama KOLs. Known for its “Red BB Cream,” Kans topped Douyin’s beauty brand list for 2023, achieving sales of over 3 billion RMB ($417 million).

Kans’ success illustrates the immense opportunities that international brands are missing out on by not engaging with the rising mini-series genre. As the market continues to grow, there is a clear opening for global players to make their mark and tap into this dynamic segment. Here, Jing Daily presents the top micro drama KOLs making waves on China’s web and their MIV, or media impact value.

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