When judging the popularity of television dramas, the go-to statistic has always been the drama’s ratings (收视率). Also known as audience measurement or television viewership, a drama’s ratings show how many people tuned in — the higher the number, the more people turned on their TVs to catch the latest episode.
With the rapid development of new media, however, ratings can no longer illustrate the entire picture when it comes to drama popularity. More and more, people are turning to online streaming or downloading in order to get their drama fix, which means a shift in criteria may be necessary.
Recently, Sina published a list of findings from Vlinkage, a Shanghai-based consulting company that monitors data regarding videos and new media in China. Founded in 2012, Vlinkage has amassed what they call China’s most complete information database on actors, movies, and TV dramas, which they then use to evaluate the entertainment market.
In their article, Vlinkage lists 48 dramas that have received more than 1 billion views online. To put this in perspective, that’s how many views Psy‘s “Gangnam Style” MV reached on YouTube five months after it was uploaded. That’s one video. This is 48 dramas, and the one topping the list has almost 7 billion views.