Online entertainment enters 'golden age'

By Fan Feifei | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-02 07:19

China's online entertainment industry has entered a golden era as more and more Chinese consumers are willing to pay for online games, video, livestreaming platforms and other entertainment content, an internet trends report said.

The report, by "Queen of the Net" Mary Meeker who's now with the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, said China rose rapidly in the mobile internet industry, with the number of mobile internet users surpassing 700 million in 2016, up 12 percent year-on-year.

The report said although entertainment consumption only accounts for 3 percent of Chinese consumers' overall spending, which is lower than the average of 9 percent in developed countries and regions, the growth potential is still huge. Meeker said that China's entertainment industry is in a "golden age".

Pay-to-watch is becoming popular and Chinese people are becoming accustomed to paying for online entertainment content, including online games, videos, literature, music and livestreaming platforms.

The paying viewers of the three major video-streaming companies-iQiyi, Youku Tudou Inc and Tencent Holdings Ltd-reached more than 70 million in the first quarter, twice that in the same period last year.

Chinese audiences are increasingly willing to purchase a variety of membership packages offered by these sites, to watch TV dramas and other content.

Statistics from Beijing-based internet consultancy Analysys showed that the number of paying users of internet videos will increase from 61.3 million in 2016 to 108.8 million in 2019. The revenue is expected to reach 15.1 billion yuan ($2.2 billion) in 2017.

Feng Jun, a senior analyst at EntGroup Inc, a research center for the entertainment industry, said: "The market for paying users of livestreaming websites will continue its rapid growth in the next two to three years."

Feng added that the habit of paying for what they watch is now forming. "We expect online content to be wide-ranging to satisfy different audience groups. There will be personalized, elaborate, value-added services as well."

The report said China has surpassed the United States to become the largest game market. The revenue from game software reached about $25 billion in China last year.

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