Virtual idols fetching both fame and fortune in China
Virtual idols are computer-generated pop singers, and their growing popularity has siphoned capital into the virtual economy.
On Chinese micro-blogging site Sina Weibo, the animated idol garners over 150,000 followers. [Photo: cul.qq.com]
Trendy technologies like augmented reality, motion capture and 3D real-time rendering help online viewers enjoy a fuller-produced show than just a screen-produced show.
Tan Yanfeng, the vice president of Shanda Games, explains the revenue that can be generated by virtual idols.
"Virtual idols match real-world stars for endorsement fees, at least. Through thorough cooperation like ours, virtual idols are worth similar endorsement fees as top stars, in the range of close to 10 million yuan."
As of early September, an online talent show featuring Hez has been viewed over 90 million times.
On Chinese micro-blogging site Sina Weibo, the animated idol has garnered over 150,000 followers. And his market value is growing. Hez has so far inked many endorsement deals, including one for American eatery chain Pizza Hut.
According to industry insiders, it often costs tens of millions of yuan to create a virtual singer, but the payback is also potentially huge.