Distribution Network: Key Driver in Chinese Media Industry Growth

“A good distribution is as critical to the success of a business as the product itself. A good product that doesn’t get to the target end-user is as good as not being made.”

Over the past couple of years there has been a growing trend that has witnessed a move towards the East with China gaining dominance in the geopolitical and economic spaces. As this tends to go on even in the midst of the current pandemic I got drawn to the media industry especially film. During the pandemic with work from home, school closures among others, people needed alternative means of consuming digital content in the form of movies, series, documentaries among others. Over this period, I got drawn to Netflix which I even went ahead to write about here. Onwards, I recently came across a study on the film industry with a focus on Hollywood which in a way has experiencing cut-throat competition from Chinese media industry. This was from a case by Bob Iger, the outgoing CEO, Disney. This happened to have been a key influence on their productions in the recent past including Black Panther.

As a follow up to this I tried getting to know more about the trend with the growth of the Chinese film industry. Being part of an ongoing exploration, I believe distribution networks are playing a critical role in the uptake and growth of the industry for Chinese producers. First, China with a population of 1.3billion who are key consumers for their content, they already have an established and sustainable market for their content. Additionally, the Chinese media to gain penetration to the global market have been aggressive with their distribution to gain hits in international territories. A case in point is the distribution through platforms such as YouTube where consumers can enjoy this content free of charge provided they have internet connectivity. A complete series being aired on YouTube e.g. Evernight is a clear example. Finally, the Chinese people are the most global population with presence in almost all countries globally where they maintain their nationalistic ideals thus promote their cultures, practices and even their media thus promotion where access is made possible through the different streams.

As I was reading about marketing recently, I realized that most marketing efforts are driven on acquiring, retaining or developing customers. In this entire spectrum, the constant is a product that a consumer needs to be able to obtain. In case marketing creates demand but access isn’t guaranteed then the alternative takes over and that’s the downward trend for the inaccessible product.

In any business venture then it is of importance to think through your distribution channels before you go into marketing because you don’t want to sell a value you can’t deliver to enthusiastic consumers. Distribute diligently and explore as diverse a distribution network as much as you can to drive your value.

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