In China, the documentary industry saw rapid growth during 2013 and 2015 due to policy support and impetus from its marketization. The total output value of documentary industry rose from 2.28 billion Yuan in 2013 to 4.68 billion Yuan in 2015 with the growth of 30%- 50% year on year.
With the fast development of internet, Internet acquires the attention of more TV viewers. Therefore, TV industry develops slowly which implies an impact on the documentary market to some extent. The combination of Internet and documentary still needs further development.
Since 2016, the documentary industry has entered a stage of steady development and maintains a growth rate of roughly 10% year on year. The total output value of documentary industry is expected to break 7.8 billion Yuan in 2020.
Fueled by marketization and internet, the documentary industry has formed omni-media distribution system through three-dimensional development in TV stations, internet and cinemas, interactive communication between online and offline, and resources sharing. Firstly, distribution channels of the documentary industry are increasingly diversified, which takes traditional media such as TV stations as the backbone force, video websites and social media as the new force and cinemas as the important supplement. Secondly, distribution methods develop from single official information popularizing into online and offline combinations including interaction with audiences, online sharing and offline activities to achieve better dissemination effect. and lastly, documentary resources can multidirectional flow among TV stations, internet platforms and cinemas to extend the spread scope and cover more audiences.
In general, market-oriented operation of the documentary industry make a part of audience accept the paid viewing and social capital input expands the commercial room for documentary to some extent can provide necessary financial support for documentary production.
The profit model of documentary shows diversified development. Their profits mainly come from advertising sales, copyright sales, IP authorization and development of derivative products. Advertising sales is the principal part of the revenue and took a share of over 50% in the total revenue. At the same time, TV stations with sufficient qualifications and experience can custom documentary for some enterprises, which becomes a profit source. Documentary has weaker commercialization capability compared with other categories of works, which limits the process of industrialization and marketization. As the integration of internet and documentary deepens, documentary profit model will enrich, revenue channels will become more diversified and documentary industry will have vast imagination and innovation space.