iQiyi reaches 106 million paid subscribers worldwide; cites Korean shows

Published October 14, 2021, 4:02 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

Video streaming platform iQiyi’s paid subscribers worldwide reached 106 million by the second quarter of the year with over 350 million viewing hours.

This was announced by Kuek Yu-Chuang, iQiyi’s vice president for International Business on Oct. 13 who said that iQiyi “is considered as one of the fastest growing streaming services in Asia.”

(Top) Lee Dong-wook and Wi Ha-jun will star in “Bad and Crazy” while (bottom) Kim Young-dae and Lee Sung-kyoung will headline “Shooting Stars” (iQiyi)

He said iQiyi has grown especially in Korean content in the past year. IQiyi is available in 191 territories and its international app carries over 4,000 shows including Chinese, Korean, Japanese anime and local content that are with subtitles in 10 languages and with the highest possible viewing quality.

“In 2021, we are on track to launch over 7,000 hours of entertainment. Outside of China, iQiyi now has local footprints in the Middle East, North America and across Southeast Asia and content teams based in Japan and Korea to scout the next beloved Asian stories for the international audience,” he said.

Kuek attributed iQiyi’s fast expansion to “our relentless investment in providing best in class viewing experience for our users and our extensive library of premium Asian content.”

He cited Korean shows as a factor in iQiyi’s growth, saying, “And one of the many reasons for exponential expansion can be attributed to one of our fastest growing content verticals, Korean content.”

“On iQiyi, fans love Kdrama, in fact 38 percent of the total drama watch time was contributed by K-drama as of the end of 2020. And in 2021, in response to that positive signal from our international audience, iQiyi launched 30 percent more Korean titles this year as compared to last year,” he said.

IQiyi invested in bringing Korean originals including “Monthly Magazine Home,” “So I Married the Anti-Fan,” “My Roommate is a Gumiho” and “Lost.”

He said “My Roommate is a Gumiho,” which premiered in May starring Jang Ki-yong and Lee Hye-ri, “was iQiyi’s first self-produced Korean original and we’re happy to share that since its global launch, the romantic comedy has become iQiyi’s number one title during the course of its launch. And as of August 5th, the show has received over 80 million views globally.”

“iQiyi aims to be one of the Asian streaming leaders that brings the most top class, premium Korean original to the world. And to date, we have already announced seven more originals, thee of which are coming soon,” he said.

The first two are “Bad and Crazy” and “Shooting Stars,” which iQiyi is producing in partnership with Studio Dragon.

Four Korean Originals will be streamed in 2022: “Crazy Love,” “Weekday Wife,” “My Oppa is an Idol” and “Us at One Point.”

“This caps our total Korean originals and 11 K-content titles with countless more premium licensed contents for Kdrama lovers to watch at iQiyi. With our Korean originals contents giving extreme mainstream popularity over the past year, we are excited, to accelerate our content production come 2022 and beyond. It is clear that in 2022, one of our focus will be on producing original Korean dramas that will continue to appeal to our international audience,” said Kuek.