The Rise of Talent Shows in China - in Television and Online

Talent shows produced in China have been making waves in the media and entertainment industry by producing a stream of idols and stars adored by audiences across the country.  Shows such as Produce 101 and The Rap of China: Season 2 have enjoyed massive audience and online buzz due to intense pre-show publicity efforts. With both shows blazing a trail in both television and new media, the recent Kantar Media CIC’s Trendwatch report compares and reviews their marketing strategy and the engagement rate.

List of main marketing events prior to show release

Produce 101 started their marketing activities only one month prior to airing, however managed to create several ignition points in the social media space and achieved stellar results by pooling resources from Tencent’s own media, tutors’ traffic and the fan base of contestants to boost the online average engagement rate. The Rap of China produced lesser ignition points compared to its competitor, despite starting three months in advance, and only received a lacklustre response from all content avenues other than the posts released by the show’s tutors. This is especially evident in official Weibo accounts where 44% of all posts related to the show resulted in the second lowest average engagement in Weibo.

Comparison of online activities on Weibo


Kantar Media CIC’s Viewpoint

  • Similar to Produce 101 strategy of leveraging Tencent’s media resources, The Rap of China should have also leveraged iQiyi’s media resources to boost traffic for the show
  • Tutors and popular contestants who can generate traffic on their own are good assets in creating online buzz before the release of the show.
  • Contestants who underwent the mass selection and were picked due to their talent and unique personality are especially good to create a broad range of discussion for the netizens.

The full case study is available from the Kantar Media CIC Trendwatch report including additional quantitative evidence on buzz volume and engagement for the two shows and their pre-show marketing campaigns, and deep dives on the specific topics in netizens’ discussions and popular keywords used in social media platforms.  To receive a copy of the full report, just complete the form on the right.



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