The Difference Between China and US Internet Video Markets

2 min read

Last Friday, I was invited by Tudou and Christine Lu (the moderator) to join a panel to kick off Tudou Video Festival 2010. Great honor and pleasure sitting next to Gary Wang (CEO of Tudou), David Wolf (blogger at SiliconHutong & CEO of Wolf Group Asia) and Frank Yu (former Microsoft Games exec), and the topic is about the difference between China and US Internet video markets. We went through lots of aspects around this topic. The following is my takes and highlights from other speakers (special thanks to David Feng @davidfeng who’s live tweeting about the discussion.)

Left to Right: Christine Lu, Frank Yu, Gary Wang, Gang Lu, David Wolf. Photo by Marc

Content – Most of the Chinese video content are about Entertainment, but you see less that in US where video is used for news, online show, video marketing, ads etc. And Gary also pointed out that the video content they received this year for the festival is different than before, ‘you can see more creative stuff coming’, he said.

Creators – More and more small teams are now in China created funny/interesting/creative video content. But it’s hard to find individual creators who think video can be the media reporting content such as Technology. I used our video blog as an example. It now has 60+ video interviews with great startups/entrepreneurs who shared their valuable experience, but we managed to keep doing that for almost a year without any income and the traffic is still not comparable with those ‘entertaining’ stuff.

Technology – When all Chinese video sites still focus on the monetization, the US video market has started on the future of video technology. What if HTML5 is fully accepted; and how the market is going to be changed in Mobile space.

Monetization – Gary said the advertisement is still the nature method for monetization, so does US market. I mentioned the example of how Nicovideo, the leading Japanese video site integrated e-commerce with video content, and Frank also pointed out the Virtual Item could be another try. Gary said they used to try the e-commerce a bit, but it did not work very well.

Copyright – Copyright environment is complex enough in US, but once you drag this into China, it could be more complex, laws, regulations, grey areas and tricks etc. “The copyright cases sometime are just stupid”, Gary said.

Service vs. Ecosystem – YouTube is building a platform for the video content. Tudou spend the past ~5 years doing the same by offering good service, but it has another responsibility, i.e. building a healthy ecosystem for Chinese video market for Chinese creative people. David also made a very good point, “Tudou has a huge future as an education media”.

Tudou also put together some of tweets from the panel discussion into slides which shows some of the highlights.