Douyin strikes deal with iQiyi on derivative works

July 19, 2022 0 Comments

Douyin, sister app of TikTok and the most popular short video app in China, has entered an agreement with Netflix-like long video streaming platform iQiyi. The latter would allow content creators on Douyin, Toutiao, and Xigua Video to use iQiyi’s content and post them on the aforementioned platforms.

Notably, iQiyi only licenses Douyin “for editing and distribution as short form videos”, meaning re-uploading entire iQiyi series or other long videos would not be allowed.

“We believe our cooperation will unlock new opportunities that will enrich the online video ecosystem, increase the value of our existing intellectual property, broaden monetization opportunities, and create win-wins for both platforms, content creators, and our users,” says Gong Yu, Founder, Director, and CEO of iQIYI.

The two companies’ cooperation signals a turn of the short video vs. long video battle in China. According to a research report released by the China Online Audio-Visual Program Service Association in 2020, short video has surpassed long videos in China in terms of user scale, length of use, and usage rate and became the dominant past time activity.

The 2020 China Online Audio-Visual Development Research Report released by the China Online Audio-Visual Program Service Association shows that as of June 2020, the user scale, length of use, and usage rate of short videos have fully surpassed that of long videos, becoming the dominant pastime tool. Long video platforms were threatened by the advances of short video platforms such as Douyin. In April last year, iQiyi, Tencent Video and Youku jointly issued a statement, condemning short video platforms for distributing and enabling the publication of derivative content, infringing on copyright owners’ legal and financial interests.

The China Online Audio-Visual Program Service Association released a “Rules on Content Audit Standards for Short Video on the Internet” following the statement in 2021, which addressed the growing concerns of copyright infringement.

iQiyi, known as China’s Netflix, went public on Nasdaq in 2018, and its market value has fallen from a peak of more than $30 billion in June 2018 to around $3.15 billion now. The company’s stocks has been sent on a roller-coaster ride since last month, when they fell 4.7% on June 15, after Reuters reported that iQiyi’s parent company Baidu is looking to sell all iQiyi stakes. The collaboration with Douyin has helped iQiyi rose by 6.83%, at the time of writing.

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