BEIJING, July 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — iQIYI, Inc. (NASDAQ: IQ) (‘iQIYI’ or ‘the Company’), an innovative market-leading online entertainment service in China, is pleased to announce the launch of two new features on its domestic streaming platform, Heartbeat Mode and Revolving Bullet Comments, as part of its efforts to enhance its viewers’ viewing experience.
Heartbeat Mode enables viewers to participate in exciting moments on screen by syncing their phones’ vibrations with on-screen actions. Meanwhile, the Revolving Bullet Comments technology allows bullet comments—text-based user reactions displayed on the screen as online videos play—to automatically orbit around specific characters in shows. Pushing the boundaries of interactivity, the two new features help forge a stronger connection between viewers and the content.
Heartbeat Mode first appeared in the newly released show Moonlight, which stars Yu Shuxin and Ding Yuxi and is part of the Company’s “SWEET ON Theater” collection. iQIYI’s latest data shows that for one specific scene in Episode 19, over one million users tried the new feature, with an average of approximately 14 times per person. This adds up to over 25 million “heartbeats” in total and is equivalent to each viewer replaying the scene for seven minutes. The show has become one of the top three shows on iQIYI International in Asia, the Middle East and North America, among which Moonlight is the most watched show in countries and regions including Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea.
Revolving Bullet Comments appeared in the latest iQIYI original reality show The Detectives’ Adventures. The reality show, featuring a group of celebrities doing live action role playing (LARP) games, has generated more than 820 million views of related discussions about the show on the Chinese internet. Topics about the series are currently the trendiest hashtags on social media platforms such as Weibo.
iQIYI’s world-leading tech team made viewing experiences as such possible. Based on “Dance Mode,” the rhythm detection algorithm used last year in The Rap of China 2020, Heartbeat Mode mimics heartbeats and thereby helps strengthen the connection between the audience and the characters. Once launched on an interactive video platform (IVP), the Heartbeat Mode will be available to more production teams as a plug-in, ready to be added to other shows during post-production.
Moreover, iQIYI’s product and tech teams worked together to create the Revolving Bullet Comments feature, which uses AI character recognition and portrait matting technologies to insert a dynamic background between the original background and the characters. This technology not only enables users to see the bullet comments as passing between the characters and the background (as opposed to on top of the characters), but it also prevents issues such as stuttering and shaking, which distract from the viewing experience. A variety of reality shows—such as The Detectives’ Adventures—currently features this technology.
The development of the two new features demonstrates iQIYI’s keen observation of the ever-evolving viewer needs. In the past, viewers were accustomed to interacting with the characters only through imagination and did not express any need for reciprocity. Today’s audience, however, craves the ability to express their reactions, feelings, and opinions in real-time while viewing content. This need for real-time interactivity is a key differentiator between online content and traditional TV programs. As iQIYI builds out an immersive, interactive viewing experience, it enables the viewers to forge strong emotional bonds with the characters and feel as if they were part of the show.
According to a recent report from the China Netcasting Services Association on the development of China’s online video industry, close to half of the total online video viewership actively engaged with the content. For instance, of all viewers, 44.6% would click “Like” on the materials they appreciated; 27.9% read the bullet comments; and 24.1% shared content via social media. Furthermore, the research indicates that the younger, more educated generations were among the most active in interacting with the content. As a leading content platform for young viewers, iQIYI is optimally positioned to capitalise on this trend. While the online video market in China remains highly competitive, iQIYI’s continual commitment to expanding its technological capabilities will allow the Company to secure a differentiation advantage.
Source: iQIYI, Inc.