iQiyi reports 57% increase in revenue

Chinese on-demand video streaming platform iQiyi (爱奇艺) has reported a 57% year-on-year increase in revenue in its first financial report since its IPO.

The unaudited results show the company’s first-quarter revenue was RMB 4.9 billion ($777.6 million). Its report also noted that iQiyi’s net loss dropped to RMB 395.7 million ($63.1 million) from RMB 1.1 billion ($173.6 million) during the same period in 2017.

Membership services and advertising drove the company’s revenue. iQiyi attributed this to the release of original content and numerous initiatives during the Chinese New Year.

According to market research firm eMarketer, iQiyi controls most of China’s on-demand video market. The company is closely followed by Tencent Video. iQiyi had 421.3 million monthly active users and about 126 million active daily mobile users in the last three months of 2017.

The Nasdaq-listed company went public in March, filing for an offering size of $1.5 billion. Many speculated about its IPO in the months preceding the event, with the company being one of the most anticipated listing candidates in 2018. In its latest financials, it said it expects to receive $2.36 billion in net proceeds from the IPO.

The company reports that its net revenue will increase to over RMB 5.8 billion ($924.0 million) in the second quarter of the year, but said the prediction is subject to “substantial uncertainty.”

In December 2017, iQiyi was granted exclusive distribution rights to six films nominated for Golden Globe Awards. These included “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and “The Shape of Water.” Earlier in 2017, it received the rights to distribute “La La Land” and “Moonlight”.

Earlier in 2017, the company signed a deal with US-based on-demand video platform Netflix. The agreement allowed the Chinese company to screen its US counterpart’s content in China. Netflix, which has been blocked from operating in the country, said it was focussing on content agreements rather than entering the market.