Film and TV industry has much to learn on merchandising business

China is riding high in the film and television merchandise business but facing challenges, industry insiders said at a recent forum.

The fourth forum on online dispute resolution and movie merchandise development and protection was held in Beijing in July.

Film and television merchandising has seen rapid growth in the country.

Yet China's emerging merchandise business has yet to fill in some gaps when compared with their mature foreign counterparts, experts said.

The development of the domestic merchandising business is constrained by copyright piracy, said She Yinbin, editor-in-chief of the children's channel at the Tencent video animation center.

She cited the cartoon series Super BOOMi as an example. After it was broadcast on Tencent Video and other platforms, pirated merchandise, including toys, phone cases and T-shirts, appeared on e-commerce platforms. So far, Tencent Video has tackled 282 kinds of pirated goods.

"Aside from copyright infringement, there are many other problems to solve, including a short life cycle of merchandise and a shortage of professionals," said Yan Bo, deputy director of IP and legal affairs office at State broadcaster China Central Television.

Yan added that though The Wandering Earth has performed well at the box office, its merchandise sales have lagged. This is because filmmakers didn't consider merchandising until the movie was screened. Merchandising design should have been done before or simultaneously with the film's release, she said.

"Propelled by current demand from the market and investors, as well as incentive policies, the domestic film and television merchandise business will prosper," said Luo Man, deputy head of the intellectual property division of the Beijing Chaoyang District People's Court. She added that the Ministry of Finance also encourages the market expansion of films' derivatives and provides a policy guarantee for the industry.

(Source: China Daily)