9th February 2012
Online video websites are becoming the fastest growing vertical web platforms in China.
According to the 2011 China Network Audio-Visual Industry Report, online video viewership has already reached 394 million in China and will hit 445 million by the end of 2012.
In our ongoing video website usage research it’s already clear that video content and video platforms are becoming a major channel to reach Chinese consumers.
In our research, Youku comes up as the most popular video website in terms of brand preference with 27.6% of respondents giving the online video pioneer the thumbs up.
The second and third runners up are Xunlei (15.3%) and PPTV (10.8%). It’s interesting how Tudou ranked quite poorly in favorability since it’s often been named as the preeminent runner-up to Youku in various national rankings. This may be one of the reasons why Tudou has recently started a high profile legal campaign accusing Youku of IP infringement with accusations of unauthorized uploading of licensed video content that it owns. Youku has countersued with the similar accusations.
Xunlei may have a different business model to Youku and the rest but it is definitely in the game as a video content delivery platform. Its file sharing and download software is the 2nd most installed PC software in China after only Tencent’s QQ IM.
The most common reason why Chinese consumer like these video websites is that they provide comprehensive channels (various categories of content) (34.99%); the latest videos (16.38%), content delivery that works well (14.64%), and high screen quality (13.90%).
We validated that 55.1% of respondents look at all categories of content offered by these video websites, and 38.3% tended to only watch movies and dramas. Although respondents like to watch videos online, only 0.7% of the respondents will upload their own videos. This is evidence that User Generated Content (UGC) is an extremely small part of Chinese video websites and that licensed content holds the key to attracting larger audiences online.
According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 19% of Americans have paid for digital games and 16% have spent money on online videos, movies and TV shows. Meanwhile, 33% have paid for digital music.
Chinese consumers have a different attitude about paying for online content. In our study, 58.1% of respondents stated that they do not want to pay for any content, with some willing to purchase games (17.4%), music (11.7%) and videos (10.8%). Generally, Chinese Internet users are less willing to spend money for online content than those countries with higher Internet penetration such as the U.S. and South Korea.
However, a 6% difference in the willingness to purchase online video content is not too far off of the U.S. mark. Paid content channels are already a standard offering on Chinese video sites, but the key question is: how much are Chinese consumers willing to pay for online video content?
Since so many Chinese consumers watch videos online, marketers should also spend time to optimize their TVCs for the online environment. And with more premium content being offered by the video websites, advertisers should also look at viewer ratings just as they do for TV so as to capture more consumer eyeballs in China.
Number of Samples: 403
Data Capture Period: 2011.12.18 – 2012.2.5
China Polling conducts Omnibus Surveys on an ongoing basis to provide continuous tracking of consumer trends in China. This innovative approach to tracking consumer behavior will allow companies looking to enter the China market to get the most up to date information about trends in China. All real-time datasets are available for purchase online. Additional questions can be added into the Omnibus Survey and fielded at any time.