Micro-drama production plan launched to cover origins of Chinese civilization
Published: Jan 14, 2024 09:59 PM
Photo: Screenshot of the micro-drama Go Queen Go from the website

Photo: Screenshot of the micro-drama "Go Queen Go" from the website

Some 100 outstanding micro-drama series will be produced to meet recent trends, according to a notice released by the National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) on Friday.

Themed Traveling with Micro-Dramas, the broadcast of this series later in 2024 will cover a variety of topics such as China's significant archaeological projects in the past several years, historical and cultural landmarks and famous ancient Chinese towns and villages, aimed at vividly narrating the origin and cultural inheritance of Chinese civilization, according to NRTA. 

Creators will be able to draw inspiration from intangible cultural heritage and collect materials to showcase the ever-evolving new phenomena and stories within China.

The production plan is to cover cultural topics ranging from ancient Chang'an City, the Anyang Yinxu Ruins and the Yangshao and Liangzhu cultures to pottery, bronzes and oracle bone inscriptions, as well as the stories of the Grand Canal and the Yellow River.

In recent years, the micro-drama industry has experienced a rapid growth, becoming a formidable force in the entertainment market. 

According to data from the Micro-Drama Conference jointly hosted by Chinese short video platform Kuaishou and other institutions on Friday, major short video platforms became the primary suppliers of micro-drama content in 2023, which constitutes over 70 percent of the overall market.

The Chinese market saw the release of more than 1,400 micro-drama series in 2023, according to statistics from think tank China' En Data, a consecutive year-on-year growth rate exceeding 50 percent.

A research report published by iMedia indicates that in 2021, China's micro-drama market reached 368 million yuan ($51 million), while it surged to 37.39 billion yuan in 2023, marking a tenfold increase in just two years.

In comparison, the Chinese film market was valued at 54.91 billion yuan in 2023. Within a short span of five years, the micro-drama market has reached approximately 70 percent of the long-lasting film market in scale.

Micro-dramas, an emerging and highly active form of artistic expression, are characterized by their short duration, low investment requirements, rapid production and diverse themes and genres. As it has been booming since 2023, many traditional film and television institutions are trying to enter this field, leaning toward the production of micro-dramas that meet the continuously rising aesthetic demand of users.

"The advantage of micro-drama content lies in its short and fast production cycle, enabling immediate connections with audiences and hot topics," Beijing-based film commentator Tang Shuang told the Global Times on Sunday. 

"With the participation of many companies and more institutions, we can expect higher quality micro-dramas." 

Chinese micro-drama platforms have experienced rapid development internationally. Previously, the overseas expansion of micro-dramas has already made such a special drama-rise a hot topic. Chinese online literature platform, Webnovel, which has thrived in the interactive novel business abroad, launched a short drama app called ReelShort overseas in August in 2022. Its successful localization has resonated with overseas audiences, especially in English-speaking countries that have been deeply influenced by Hollywood.