TikTok’s sister app for the Chinese mainland Douyin has started to test a payment mode for short drama content, starting from 1 yuan ($0.16) per episode, Tech Planet reported on Monday.
According to the test service homepage, the payment mode of Douyin’s skits is similar to that of paid novels. The mode supports one-time payment with a large discount to unlock the whole collection of drama content. Skits that have already been paid for can be watched repeatedly without a time limit.
The report also said that Douyin plans to use the skits as a separate first-level entrance and place it on the homepage of the app to attract more attention from users and creators.
Compared with TV dramas and movies, the shooting cycle for skits is basically controlled within 10 days, and their production costs are typically around several hundred thousand yuan. With a low budget and broad user base, skits represent a key rival in efficiency-oriented user groups.
In addition to the payment mode, Douyin’s profit in the field comes from creators, the publicity for customized playlets, and live streaming e-commerce.
Kuaishou, Douyin’s rival in the Chinese market, also exerts strength in the field of short dramas. According to Kuaishou’s own report, its average daily active viewers of short dramas in April exceeded 210 million, an increase of 8.0% in half a year. More than 20 million users watch more than 10 episodes of the skits every day.
Although Douyin has not released any data on the matter, the daily active viewers of skits on Douyin is no less than that on Kuaishou, according to industry speculation.