TikTok Starts Offering Full-Length Feature Films Through Popular Video App Douyin in China

TikTok-movie Streaming Platform
Image: South China Morning Post

TikTok, owned by ByteDance, is now expanding its portfolio of offerings, which now includes full-length feature films. Now ByteDance is letting Chinese users stream many films in Douyin, the local version of the famous video app. The good thing is, as of now, the users can watch all the movies for free. The films include acclaimed international titles like Academy Award-winning The Last Emperor, Farewell my Concubine, Matt Damon starrer The Great wall. It appears as if the ByteDance is looking to expand its audience to take on the likes of China’s Netflix like platforms such as Baidu’s Youku, Alibaba’s iQiyi, and Tencent Video.

Covid-19 Outbreak Behind TikTok’s Decision to Enter Movie Streaming Platform

The Coronavirus outbreak, which started in China in late December 2019, has forced the complete lockdown of the country. As a result, cinema theatres are closed indefinitely. It was at that time, one studio Huanxi Media skipped the theatrical release of the film Lost in Russia. Instead, Huanxi Media streamed the movie on Duoyin and other ByteDance platforms. ByteDance has reportedly paid 630 million Yuan ($90.8 million) to the studio for streaming the movie.

Many of the studios have decided to stream their movies on online platforms rather than the theatrical release taking a cue from the success of the “Lost in Russia” movie. For instance, “The Winner joined Lost in Russia” was premiered on Duoyin as well as other online streaming platforms such as Watermelon Video and Jinri Toutiao ( News aggregation app). Even TV shows have started to follow suit to replicate success. The Comedy Weekend Online TV show has inked a deal with ByteDance for the streaming of the TV show.  

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TikTok’s Douyin is now diversifying content and has added live streaming feature. It tasted instant success as bored people struck indoors made good use of the feature. Now, Douyin has set its sight on live audio shows. Therefore users in China would be able to watch live concerts, podcasts, and talk shows.