Online video is booming in China. The number of users reached 565 million or 75.2% of the total online population, according to the China Netcasting Services Association (CNSA). The online broadcasting body just released an annual report on the online audiovisual environment in China which was presented at the 5th China Online Audio-visual Conference which kicked off on Wednesday in Chengdu.
The report has identified five key trends in China’s online audio-visual sphere: the quality of audiovisual content is becoming better, mobile penetration for video consumption is increasing, more users are paying for content, and online videos are becoming a crucial part of the online entertainment ecosystem.
CNSA deputy secretary-general Zhou Jie has pointed out that the status of traditional media is declining. According to the survey data, more than 40% is users no longer have contact with traditional media. The mobile trend is especially notable—95% of users said they use mobile phones to watch online video programs.
Good news is that users are more likely to cash out for their favorite shows. More than 40% of users have paid for watching online videos and 25.5% of those who haven’t paid before said they are willing to chip in for good content. Compared with last year, the payment capacity has also improved: the number of users who pay more than RMB 40 a month for video content has increased from 20.2% in 2016 to 26% in 2017.
Zhou also said that the online audio-visual industry has become more standardized thanks to the strengthening of regulatory policy.
But not everyone seems to be pleased with the direction in which China’s online video industry is heading. In a speech, the deputy director of the PRC State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television (SAPPRFT) Tian Jin called on all levels of radio and TV broadcasting institutions and online audio-visual institutions to clean up online programs and avoid their “poisoning.”
“Programs that are not approved or not broadcast on radio and television stations are also not allowed to spread on the internet,” said Jin. “[We will] resolutely put an end to the problem of programs with ‘unabridged edition,’‘deleted content,’ ‘highlights’ and similar names being broadcasted.”