The middle class in China is a juggernaut that has been growing steadily for at least the past decade. It was only a matter of time before a foreign-sales-obsessed studio world moved in to deliver the content that the hungry giant has an appetite for. Warner Bros. is officially the first to break into the People’s Republic of China to offer their films On Demand through television.
According to a press release, Warner Bros. will be partnering with You On Demand (complete with its creepy, winky-face logo) to provide Pay-Per-View movies to an estimated potential 200 million households. The films become available this summer, and by the end of the season, You On Demand anticipates their service will be in 3 million households – the equivalent of some of the top cable providers here in the US.
This is a large opportunity for the studio financially, of course, but what’s more fascinating is the door it leaves open for a US-based studio to start producing movies specifically for a foreign market. Hollywood is already highly aware of the global market and have catered more and more to foreign markets by making tentpole films more generic (and thus easy to digest in any culture or language), but with a direct line into the homes of the Chinese people, Warner Bros. might see an incentive to bypass American audiences altogether and start making a few movies every year specifically aimed at China. That’s just speculation, but it doesn’t seem too far fetched. We’ll have to see what the people of The People’s Republic of China think of the blue and gold invasion.