Livestreaming platform Huya’s ‘rich content’ powers user, revenue growth in 2018

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Huya logo (Image Credit: Tony Xu / Technode)

Livestreaming platform Huya saw solid traction in monthly active user (MAU) growth for the fourth quarter and doubled total net revenues for the quarter and full year 2018, according to earnings results released Monday.

The platform, listed on exchanges in both Hong Kong and New York, steadily grew both mobile and total MAUs in the fourth quarter of 2018. Mobile MAUs rose 30.7% year-on-year to 50.7 million and total MAUs grew 34.5% year-on-year to 116.6 million. The number of paying users also increased 73% year-on-year to 4.8 million in the period ended Dec. 31. CEO Rongjie Dong attributed the growth to the platform’s “rich content and differentiated user experience.”

Net revenues surged more than 100% year-on-year to RMB 1.5 billion (around $218.9 million) in the fourth quarter of 2018, driven by the platform’s livestreaming revenues, which jumped 108% to more than RMB 1.4 billion. Cost of revenues, however, doubled year-on-year in the fourth quarter to nearly RMB 1.3 billion, though gross profit kept pace, climbing 120% year-on-year during the same period.

Huya also reported a 19-fold year-on-year increase in fourth quarter net income of RMB 99.6 million. Total net revenue for the year was similarly robust, growing 113% year-on-year to RMB 4.6 billion, while gross profits for the year surged 186% year-on-year to RMB 729.8 million.

As one of the largest game livestreaming platforms in China, Huya is locked in a fierce rivalry with Douyu, which may be preparing for a New York IPO. The two platforms have been competing against each other for star livestreamers for years, offering incentives to get top performers to jump ship. During the earnings call, however, Dong said that it was ongoing appearances of moderately famous livestreamers powering growth, not the biggest livestreaming celebrities.

The platform will increase investment in high-quality e-sports tournaments in 2019, Dong said. In 2018, Huya broadcasted more than 400 e-sport events, with viewership totaling more than 1.6 billion.

Huya also plans to scale up its overseas operations in 2019, a segment that contained 10 million MAUs at the end of 2018 and is growing faster than China, Dong said. The company expects its worldwide MAUs to reach 140 million to 150 million in 2019. Livestreaming platform, Nimo TV, is powering growth in overseas markets including southeast Asia and Latin America, said CFO Dachuan Sha.