China’s film, TV and internet markets are booming. How do American writers and producers get in on the action?   By understanding the Chinese audience. But how?

By creating a Chinese avatar for your target audience.


Ask the right questions - handwriting on a napkin with a cup of espresso coffee

Your first step is to create a template that will define your Chinese avatar – your target consumer. Here are a few free templates to get you started.

Who’s The Right Who For You?

How to Create Your Customer Avatar

Ideal Customer Avatar – Worksheet


What’s the difference between a film, TV and web audience?


Unexpected message. Happy beautiful surprised woman holding her cell phone and reading a message while standing together with her friendsIn a Screendaily article  “Filmart: Chinese film industry panel calls for quality output” Kung Fu Yoga director Stanley Tong stated how younger Chinese audiences prefer to watch internet movies than theatrical films.“They are addicted to mobile devices and don’t visit the cinema regularly.”  He mentioned that 70% of the audience is now located in China’s third and fourth-tier cities, and women and couples make up the majority of the audience.  He added “If your subject matter is not attractive to women, you see a decline in box office.”

Chinese Film Avatar: Women and couples in third, fourth tier cities.


In a previous post  I mentioned the potential of China’s TV market (Strike Gold In China’s TV Market).  The article “The Difference Between China’s Movie, TV and Digital Audiences” reported how younger audiences were flocking to Chinese cinemas – not so with TV.

Chinese movie goers tend to be younger audiences in large cities.  But “the ones watching the CCTV broadcast tend to be agricultural, less educated.” said Metan Global Entertainment – the China focused entertainment firm founder, Larry Namer. He added “The level of stuff on there reminds me of U.S. TV in 1975 or 1985.”

Asian Couple Sitting On Sofa Watching TV TogetherSimilarly – this lack of quality TV was echoed in the East West Bank article “Zhou Yuan: Growing Prospects for U.S.-China Co-Productions“.  Mr. Zhou Yuan, co-founder and executive vice president ofnmon Pictures said  “In China, we’re pretty much in the period like America in the 1980s or 1990s, where we have four major TV networks.  We don’t have a Chinese version of HBO or Netflix, with high-value original productions for the TV format.  China’s consumers are prime to be upgraded to the next level.”

Bottom line – Chinese TV needs an upgrade is your opportunity. Perhaps here’s an opportunity to retread old US TV shows now making a comeback. The L.A. Times ran an article recently entitled “Nostalgia TV makes a comeback. How Hulu and Netflix are breathing new life into old TV shows”. Old shows like “The Golden Girls,” “Full House,” and the political drama “The West Wing,” are finding a new audience and a  second life on cable.

Could an old American TV show find a third life as a repackaged new series in China? There’s your opportunity.

Chinese TV Avatar: Couples, families in Chinese suburbs.


young people playing with smartphones and ignoring each other.

Speaking of opportunity, China’s internet boom is astounding. As I wrote in a  previous post – “3 Ways for Hollywood and China to Combine Their Strengths”  Weying’s a mobile ticketing service has over 800 million users (each!) on Wechat and QQ alone. And with New Media’s meteoric rise fueled by digital-consuming youth, Chinese broadcasters are catering to this market. The youth market are the taste makers of online video. .

Chinese Internet Avatar: Millennials in big cities.

You now have the outline of your Chinese film, TV or web avatar. Use the questions in the avatar template links above to fill out your avatar’s specific characteristics (age, income, education etc.). By tailoring your marketing and sales to a specific avatar – you will reach a bigger and more engaged audience.

Now the “Golden Girls” is making a comeback – what’s next for Chinese TV?  “Golden Aunties”?



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