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iQIYI Prompts Revival of Chinese Indie Music Through Hit Original Variety Show The Big Band
July 5, 2019

BEIJING, July 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Since its debut on May 25, 2019, The Big Band (the "Show"), a variety show broadcasted and produced by iQIYI, an innovative market-leading entertainment service in China, and MEWE, has been met with great acclaim by industry professionals and audiences for its originality, its impact on the revival of China'sindie music and bands as well as immersive and interactive viewing experience that's achieved through the application of innovative technologies such as interactive video features and VR.

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The iQIYI “content exploring” feature which entails a pop-up indication during certain performances in the Show which users can choose to finish watching performances

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iQIYI Prompts Revival of Chinese Indie Music Through Hit Original Variety Show “The Big Band”

Set against a mission to seek out the best rock bands in China, The Big Band is a music variety show that brings together 31 top Chinese bands, some of which come from China's biggest indie labels – Modern Sky, Taihe Music, Caotai Music and Street Voice, to compete in various stages and battles in order to earn a spot in the final "Top 5". Bands featured on the Show represent a diverse range of bands and music styles, composing a controversial yet well-received line-up that includes legendary names of the Chinese indie bands dating back from the late 1980s such as rock metal band The Face to staples from the mid-2000s like alternative rock band Hedgehog and promising new acts such as popular brit-pop band Penicillin.

The Show is also joined by MEWE Founder and CEO and well-known television personality Ma Dong, veteran musician Gao Xiaosong, well-known music producer Zhang Yadong, Taiwanese pop band Sodagreen vocalist Wu Qingfeng, cellist and actress Nana Ouyang, and comedian Qiao Shan, who host and are given judging capacity.

At present, the Show has achieved a score of 6,223 on iQIYI's "Content Popularity Index", while posts on Weibo made under the hashtag #TheBigBand have received 1.84 billion views, making the Show and relevant subjects the number one trending Weibo topic multiple times. The Show's innovation in content and its music focus has successfully brought the charm and culture of underground indie bands to the attention of the mainstream public, prompting the revival of the Chinese indie music scene.

A leading figure in setting youth culture trends and bringing underground music culture to the mainstream

According to the 2018 China Live Music Industry Report released by iDaolue Music Industry Research Center, the total revenue of live music concerts reached 4.857 billion RMB in 2017, a deconstruction of this figure shows a 51% growth in the revenue from live indie concerts, with millennials born in the 1990s and early 2000s representing the primary audience. Against the backdrop of this revival of indie music and live concerts, iQIYI saw this growing youth culture trend as an opportunity to revisit the rich history of China's indie music scene and use the Show as a platform for discussion by bringing this growing appreciation of indie and rock culture to the mainstream.

iQIYI has a proven track record in successfully bringing underground cultural trends to the mainstream and opening up opportunities for industries of smaller audiences. Since its debut in 2017, iQIYI's hit variety show The Rap of China prompted the popularization of Chinese rap in mainstream Chinese youth culture. The online Chinese buzzword "Skr", for instance, originated from the show and received 470,000 searches on Baidu, China's leading search engine, just one day after it was used by Chinese singer Kris Wu in the show's second season. Original rap songs popularized from the show have also topped the rankings of leading Chinese music platforms. The show's recently aired 2019 season continues to explore the value and potential behind the cultural significance of Chinese-language rap, further advancing iQIYI's endeavors in setting cultural trends for young Chinese audiences. Prior to the first broadcast of the 2019 season, the hashtag #TheRapOfChina reached 8.7 billion tags on Weibo, with more than 44.23 million users discussing the show.

In addition, iQIYI also produced the hit debate show Qi Pa Shuo, one of China's most popular talk shows, which through its never-before-seen debating format spurred an appreciation for discussion on controversial cultural topics amongst young people in China.

Redefining the viewing experience through technological innovation

Aside from making breakthroughs from a culture and content perspective, iQIYI redefines the viewing experience of online entertainment in The Big Band through the application of innovative technologies. For example, viewers are provided with the "content exploring" feature which entails a pop-up indication during certain performances in the Show which users can choose to finish watching performances which aren't broadcasted entirety in the final cut of episodes. This innovative feature allows iQIYI to produce content of the highest quality and efficiency while not compromising the unique and diverse needs of different audiences, achieving an impeccable integration between interactive video features and traditional video characteristics. The Big Band also marks the first entertainment content to incorporate features taken from the interactive video guideline (IVG), which was launched in May earlier this year by iQIYI.

The Show also offers what is known as "Qiyu VR KTV", an interactive entertainment function with social features that is enabled by iQIYI's 4K VR headset Qiyu. By offering a setting that entails a 3D 180° view of 4K playback quality, users are able to enjoy a truly immersive virtual reality experience that mimics the experience of live concerts. Aside from top-tier visuals, the function also has a sound and volume control system which allows users to sing along to the performances, of which can be recorded in audio and video and be uploaded onto social media. More features are expected to be rolled out for "Qiyu VR KTV", including an 8K VR playback quality as well as an online karaoke competition function.

With the rapid development of 5G and AI, the traditional film and television content structure will continue to adapt and see the normalization of technologies such as interactive video functions and VR. iQIYI is committed to exploring the possibilities of technologies that are bound to change the landscape of China's film and television industry. At present, iQIYI has already implemented these features to multiple productions, including the recent launch of China'sfirst interactive film and television work His Smile, as well as a series of VR-function enabled variety shows, including Qi Pa Shuo VR and The Rap of China VR.

About iQIYI, Inc.

iQIYI, Inc. (NASDAQ: IQ) ("iQIYI" or the "Company") 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, e-commerce, etc.

SOURCE iQIYI, Inc.

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