The fight for the summer vacation season started in mid-July and major domestic broadcasting platforms and movie and television forums were paying attention to the performance.
Flowers in a Mirror and the Moon Reflected in the Lake successfully occupied first in the viewing volume after the third day of airing, followed by the workplace drama Investment Elite and the sci-fi drama Gene Project. The leading actors of these dramas were all first-tier actors and brought their own fan base.
Of course, out of the hundreds of millions of views, many of them were repeated clicks and this was well known inside the circle. Still, it was better than Folding Paper which had less than 10 million views.
This was also a drama produced by Tianxuan but Folding Paper was ranked outside the top 10. This was the worst-performing one out of all the dramas Tianxuan invested in. Several broadcasting platforms who talked with Pei Shaoze watched it with a bit of gloating. President Pei’s first investment had become a ‘terrible loss.’ It was miserable!
The first week passed quickly and many of the broadcasting websites scrambled to open the members ‘advance-on-demand’ mode.
Most of these IP dramas were more than 40 episodes in length. It adopted the two episodes broadcasted daily or four episodes broadcasted weekly method. If one was willing to spend money on ‘advance-on-demand’, they could watch more episodes than everyone else. One episode was usually 2 yuan.
Flowers in a Mirror and the Moon Reflected in the Lake started the advanced-on-demand mode and the plot happened to be stuck at the stage where the two protagonists had good feelings toward each other. The fans of the artists supported their idols and were naturally willing to spend money. However, there were a large number of people following the drama who weren’t in the fan circle and didn’t know how to increase data or views. They were just idle and watched dramas to pass the time. They already had to pay to be a member and now they had to spend money to watch it ahead of time? They naturally weren’t happy.
The pay rate for the advance-on-demand model wasn’t optimistic. Pei Shaoze estimated from the number of barrages and official clicks that the audience pay rate of the top three shows was less than 30%. A large number of the stacking episodes group and the waiting for it to finish group weren’t willing to spend money to watch it in advance. If they wanted to watch then didn’t they just need to wait two weeks?
On the Folding Paper side, the 10th episode was broadcasted but the plot was stuck in a subtle place. Pei Shaoze asked the editor to make the plot stuck in the part where Qin Nian fell unconscious and went to the hospital for an examination, only to find that he had differentiated into an omega!
Cheng Xia acted very well in this scene. When he auditioned, he relied on this scene to impress the director and author of the original novel.
The teenager always thought he was an alpha only to suddenly discover that omega pheromones had appeared in his body. He started to laugh and joke with the doctor, thinking it was the doctor who made a mistake. Then after seeing the check-up report, his eyes widened slightly. On the surface, it didn’t matter but in fact, he was actually struggling in his heart. Once the doctor and his sister went out, Qin Nian lowered his eyes in a daze and the audience was very distressed for him.
Subsequently, Linghu TV announced how to watch the remaining episodes of Folding Paper. It wasn’t the member’s advance-on-demand mode but the box outfit profit split mode which was similar to the buyout mode of online movies.
In other words, if they wanted to watch the later episodes then they had to spend money to buy it. They could watch the drama at any time after buying it by logging into Linghu TV with their ID. If they really wanted to wait then they could watch it for free once the ‘movie and television copyright protection period’ of half a month. This was waiting six months. It was a completely different concept from waiting two weeks! The advance-on-demand mode meant they could spend money to watch it in advance or wait two weeks to watch it without spending money.
However, Folding Paper was different. If they didn’t spend money then they couldn’t watch the follow-up at all!
After discovering Pei Shaoze’s operation, several other broadcasting platforms were laughing to death. They felt that it would be awesome if President Pei managed to get one million from the box office profit share mode. They privately used Pei Shaoze’s unexpected profit share mode as an after-dinner joke.
Folding Paper’s official Weibo and Linghu TV’s official Weibo were simultaneously overwhelmed by negative comments. The water army soldiers were unified and cursed them. [Crazy for money!]
[Do you want people to spend money to buy a broken online drama?]
[Whoever spends money on this is a fool!]
Pei Shaoze was still calm despite the many negative comments. He knew who had hired the water army. The next night, the 11th and 12th episodes were released and everyone was surprised to find that one episode only cost 0.5 yuan or 5 mao!
5 mao? A steam bun on the roadside cost 1 yuan to buy. In the era of price inflation, things calculated by ‘mao’ were extremely rare. It was simply an extremely low knockdown price. It was so low that it could be seen how distressed the crew were. (1 mao = one-tenth of a yuan)
As a result, many viewers had a similar mentality.
[It’s only 5 mao. Should I buy it? This price is quite conscientious.]
[This drama is really cute. Qin Nian makes people feel distressed. Buy it and support newcomers!]
[If I don’t buy it then I can’t watch it. There is no piracy on the Internet. Let’s wait and see the evaluation of the people who bought it before making a decision.]
[I can lend my account to classmates after buying it. It only costs 5 yuan to buy the entire drama. This is very cost-effective!]
On that day, Cheng Xia sat restlessly in front of the computer. He had subscribed to the show and paid for it, which was considered to be a meager contribution to the crew. Of course, his relatives and friends were also willing to spend money to support it. However, were netizens willing to spend money for this drama even if one episode was only 5 mao? If the payment rate was too low and Brother Pei lost money then wouldn’t it be hard to explain to the company?
He clicked on the 11th episode with anxiety. The barrage was indeed less than the previous free episodes but many netizens were quite cute. They reported in by saying, [I’m also a rich person with 5 mao!]
[A person who spent 5 mao is clocking in!]
[Such a cute Qin Nian is worth my 5 mao…]
For a time, the topic ‘Buying for 5 mao isn’t a loss, I can’t be cheated’ actually became popular in the comments area!
Cheng Xia was shocked seeing the number of comments. The longest post on the 11th episode had over 1,000 comments. All of them were comments left by netizens after watching it. One black fan even said, [I spent 5 mao to see Cheng Xia being overturned. Why didn’t he overturn yet?]
Cheng Xia, “???”
This black fan was like a true love fan who was actually willing to spend 5 mao for him.
Most of those who watched the drama left messages saying, [It’s great. I will continue to buy it tomorrow!]
[Two episodes only costs 1 yuan. The scenery alone is worth the price!]
[The plot doesn’t drag out. It’s easy and fun. It’s really excellent that an online drama can be made like this.]
[Qin Nian is handsome, cute, and distressing. Ahhh, I really want to praise Cheng Xia!]
[Shen Kai’s acting is good as well. Lu Fengyang is too funny. I want to enter and beat him up!]
Linghu TV revised the scoring system according to Pei Shaoze’s suggestion. One of the suggestions was that the user score could only be given after purchasing an episode. This would avoid the opponents buying the water army to lower the star score. This scoring system also showed its advantages today. Passersby who didn’t buy the episodes couldn’t score the drama. More than 95% of the audience who bought it gave it a five-star rating and the remaining 5% were more picky audience members who gave it four stars!
Those who were waiting found that people who bought it actually gave it five stars? Then it must be good. They would buy it as well! As a result, the purchase rate started to slowly rise…
Early the next morning, Mr Liu called Pei Shaoze and was excited. “President Pei, the payment rate for Folding Paper is very high! From episode 1 to episode 10, the household retention rate is 80% and the payment rate is 70%. In less than 24 hours, 70% of the households bought episodes and this backend data is still increasing!”
Pei Shaoze told him, “Just wait and there will be a turning point later.”
Mr Liu paused. “Wait for what?”
“Wait for Flowers in a Mirror and the Moon Reflected in the Lake to become abusive and at that time, I will advertise how sweet Folding Paper is.”
Mr Liu, “……”
This person actually took the opponent’s rhythm into account! For the first time, he found that Pei Shaoze might be young but he was shrewd and ruthless!
The ninth day after it started airing. Everyone was rushing for traffic in the summer holidays so Flowers in a Mirror and the Moon Reflected in the Lake broadcasted two episodes every Tuesday to Saturday. They stopped on Monday and Sunday. This meant that they would broadcast 10 episodes a week for six weeks. It wouldn’t end until late August.
This drama took the heart abuse path. The two protagonists only had 10 episodes of sweetness. They had just sweetly finished telling each other their feelings when the hero was framed for killing the heroine’s master. Meanwhile, the heroine was calculated by a vicious female character and mistakenly thought that in the past, the hero’s father was the one who destroyed her family. This caused her to be displaced until she was eventually adopted by her master.
The two people went from affectionate lovers to enemies in an instant. The heroine collapsed and cried bitterly. She stabbed the hero and pushed the innocent hero into the endless abyss…
The audience was about to go crazy from the abuse. After all, the two protagonists were first-tier stars and their acting skills were good. Their crying scenes that tore at the heart caused the audience following the drama to also cry. Some people were depressed and couldn’t sleep after crying so they went to watch other dramas.
Those who were abused would naturally look for a cure. The workplace drama, sci-fi drama, and martial arts drama airing at the same time wasn’t enough to cure it. However, Linghu TV had Folding Paper which was said to be a sweet and lovely drama?
They searched for Folding Paper and found that the official Weibo was very serious. They changed posters every day and the little brother on the poster was very handsome! At this time, a large number of audience comments appeared on Weibo.
[You can buy it for 5 mao and you won’t lose money. The warm school drama Folding Paper is really a clear type among the summer vacation drama.]
[I am also following it. Qin Nian is too cute. @Cheng Xia this newcomer is great. I want to be Cheng Xia’s sister fan from now on.]
[Folding Paper is well-made and doesn’t have a messy plot. It’s easy and cute. After watching it, my heart is warm.]
These comments weren’t from the water army bought by Pei Shaoze but the spontaneous feelings of the netizens. There was a contrast and people found that they were really tired of watching the dog-blood abusive dramas where there was the ‘you killed my whole family and I stabbed your master’ misunderstanding. It really made their brains hurt when seeing it. Wasn’t it good to watch a lovely, sweet drama? Why go looking for trouble?
Due to the draggy plot, the viewing volume of Flowers in a Mirror and the Moon Reflected in the Lake started to gradually decline. If the data from the water army was removed then it actually didn’t look good.
On July 20th, the always first-ranked Flowers in a Mirror and the Moon Reflected in the Lake was scolded onto the hot search due to bugs in the plot, on-set props, and embarrassing special effects. Cui Jue quickly spent money to remove the hot search but the negative comments of ‘this drama’s salary were given to the artists. The filming is shoddy and the plot is old-fashioned and abusive’ couldn’t be suppressed.
Even if he had the water army crazily give it five stars, there were still a large number of viewers who ruthlessly scored one-star or two-star ratings, saying things like, [It’s too bloody. The heroine’s IQ went offline!]
[I’m so annoyed by this silly and sweet heroine where the misunderstanding isn’t explained. Stabbing your lover due to a misunderstanding, can this f*king still be called love?]
At the same time, one of the starring actors of the workplace drama Investment Elite got into a scandal with his private life, and the entire crew was affected. The setting of Gene Project wasn’t rigorous enough and it was bombarded with criticisms by the more scholarly netizens.
Their peers really made them look good.
On July 21st, the well-received Folding Paper ushered in the finale. Netizens couldn’t believe it. [Didn’t it just start airing? How come it finished so quickly?]
[In fact, the promotion for this drama is very awesome. They know that there are many people stacking episodes or waiting for the ending so they want to broadcast the finale as soon as possible to have a finishing effect?]
[Why do I have a strange feeling that in the fight between immortals during the summer vacation, our origami will sit back and reap the profits?]
Pei Shaoze thought so as well. There were many people who liked to wait for more episodes to be released to watch it in one go. Folding Paper wasn’t a type of abusive drama with ups or downs or a big IP drama that needed time to drag out its popularity. It was a warm and healing short school drama. It could only be finished as fast as possible and scored to attract a large number of people waiting for the drama to end to buy the drama.
It was a time when audiences were upset by the xianxia drama, found the workplace drama greasy, and were bored by the sci-fi drama. Folding Paper ended at just the right time.
The score rose after it finished. The audience who followed the series didn’t modify their five-star evaluation and the audience who came later also scored four or five stars. This way, on the day after it ended, Folding Paper actually rushed to first on the most viewed TV series list in one breath.
This ‘overtaking’ operation stunned the other crews!
Other dramas were broadcasting their episodes slowly to spread out the topics while Folding Paper ended early due to the relatively short plot. It jumped to first on the rating list with a final score of 9.5 points. The number of ratings might only be more than 5,000 but these ratings were all after purchase. The evaluation of real-time was much higher than the evaluation of the dramas that could be watched for free!
Cui Jue suddenly felt that something was wrong.
On the day of the finale, Folding Paper had rushed to the top five in terms of play volume. The three platforms that previously talked to Pei Shaoze had a not-so-good feeling. The rating of this drama was really too high. A score of 9.5 was completely at the level of a masterpiece!
High ratings would naturally attract curious new viewers.
In addition, the audience retention rate of this drama was really strong. The entire drama had a lively rhythm, a warm style, and no points that would make others angry. Those who watched the first ten free episodes liked Cheng Xia’s performance as the handsome and cute Qin Nian or Shen Kai as the troublemaker Lu Fengyang. They followed all the way to the end. They were distressed for Qin Nian’s serious efforts, sad for the youthful secret love throughout the high school area, and pleased for the common growth of both people.
Qin Nian’s origami scenes in the drama were edited by a Weibo big V account to make a relaxed and cheerful video. [Follow Qin Nian to learn origami. I have to say that @Cheng Xia is awesome. I learned how to make origami roses, small animals, paper planes, paper boats, and paper towers from this drama!]
In the video, the young man’s hands were as flexible as someone doing a magic trick. The white and slender fingers quickly folded the paper and soon finished all the cute origami. Folding Paper’s official Weibo cooperated with the publicity and released a behind-the-scenes video of Cheng Xia doing origami on the set. [Our Cheng Xia folded it on the spot. It isn’t a quick lens. He really can do origami @Cheng Xia.]
Cheng Xia wasn’t wearing makeup and had changed out of his school uniform. He wore a simple white t-shirt and jeans as he sat on the stool and earnestly folded paper. Then the sunny young man greeted the camera with a bright smile and a freshly folded paper rabbit in his hand.
It really hit the hearts of the audience! For a time, the topic #Qin Nian origami# went on the hot search.
Since the blogger @Cheng Xia, the number of Cheng Xia’s Weibo fans skyrocketed to three million. Cheng Xia opened Weibo and looked at the number of new fans. He couldn’t believe it and rubbed his eyes. “Sister Yan, did I count one zero wrong?”
Zhou Yan embraced the little cutie excitedly. “You didn’t count wrong. Cheng Xia, you’re really popular!”
Pei Shaoze looked at Cheng Xia’s Weibo with a smile.
The Weibo big V was arranged by him and the editing was done in advance by the publicity site. He took advantage of the wave of enthusiasm at the end of Folding Paper to send the young man doing origami onto the hot search.
Cheng Xia had worked hard learning origami in the beginning. Now that these clips were released, the audience could feel the hard work and heart of this newcomer. In addition, the behind-the-scenes video showed the young man’s hands moving flexibly as he quickly folded the white paper into various shapes. It was short footage that was only dozens of seconds long but it had a first-class ability to attract fans!
Immediately afterward, another uploaded with millions of fans edited a video on Website A of the Folding Paper scenery. It showed the snow scenes, tree-lined paths, flower parks, mountain paths, etc. in the drama. It cut out all the scenery and made a tourism promotional video that corresponded to each spot.
The edited video was played over one million times in a short period of time. It went to the top 10 hot videos on the homepage of Website A and drove a wave of viewers to go to Linghu TV to see how beautiful the scenery of Folding Paper was. Then not surprisingly, those who came to see the scenery were attracted by the well-made drama. They watched each episode with relish. Once they reached the 11th episode and found that one episode only cost 5 mao, they bought it.
Buy, buy, buy. The situation gradually became out of control. After Folding Paper finished airing, the popularity increased every day instead of decreasing!
On the first day after the ending, the topic #Qin Nian origami# went on the hot search and the travel video uploaded by a member of Website A was reposted everywhere, attracting a large wave of traffic. On the third day after it ended, a pair of newly married AO husbands took wedding photos at the location of Folding Paper’s finale and attracted a lot of attention on Weibo. Many people decided to go to this tree-lined path and take photos. The place where Qin Nian and Lu Fengyang hugged became a popular dating site online.
On the fourth day after it ended, a public Weibo account released an article titled ‘Folding Paper, a fresh online drama that takes you back to your school days.’ It was written very well and introduced the cute points of the entire drama as well as releasing a few beautiful stills.
For a time, a large number of spontaneous praise from the netizens who saw it was posted to their Moments such as. [Go and watch it.]
[I’ve seen it. It’s so good.]
[They might be newcomers but their acting skills are online.]
[A rare high-quality online drama.]
[I give 5 stars for this drama. I can see the crew’s intentions.]
[Folding Paper was filmed with great sincerity. I hope other crews can do the same.]
No matter how terrible the water army, it couldn’t compare to ‘running tap water.’ No amount of money spent on publicity could compare to the crazy word of mouth among friends.
The high score of 9.5 and the spontaneous publicity of the netizens meant that on the fifth day after Folding Paper finished, it actually surpassed the first three IP dramas and made a strong comeback as an unexpected dark horse. It surged to the top of the summer broadcasting lists in one breath!