Chinese video platform Bilibili is restructuring its business units to boost profit growth, Chinese media outlet LatePost reported on Monday.
Why it matters: Despite strong growth in users and content offerings, Bilibili has been facing more pressure to turn a profit since it went public in New York in 2018. The extensive restructuring is aimed at helping the company become profitable by 2024, a goal first revealed by the company CEO Chen Rui at the fourth quarter earnings call in 2021.
Details: The overhaul mainly affects three core business units: commercialization, streaming, and content-related business. Six executives have either assumed new roles or left the company. In addition, Bilibili has also set up a new data center.
- Bilibili’s commercialization unit will have a new leader Liu Zhi, who previously worked in the unit before joining Bilibili’s operations unit. He helped expand the user base of the main site. Liu will directly report to Bilibili’s CEO Chen Rui. The unit’s previous leader Liu Binxin will leave the company.
- Head of Bilibili’s streaming sector Wang Yuyang will also take over the operations sector. Wang is a young executive and former founder of the notable Chinese esports agency Dae Culture (our translation).
- LatePost cited a source at the company as saying that some previous experimental reforms – such as the combining of its video and streaming businesses – had been positive, and Bilibili is now looking to implement such reforms in other parts of the company.
- The restructuring will also see Bilibili’s animation business become a new independent unit, separate from the site operations unit where it previously belonged. The new unit and the firm’s entertainment, film, and TV series business will now belong to the Occupationally Generated Video (OGV) department.
- Bilibili is also establishing a new data center. Zhang Zecong will lead and report to the firm’s COO and vice chairman Li Ni.
Context: Bilibili has continued to maintain user growth but is still a long way from turning a profit. In the first quarter, Bilibili had a 25% yearly growth in subscribers, while its net loss has widened 152% from last year to RMB 2.3 billion ($340 million). The firm is prioritizing commercialization as a critical task for this year, said its first-quarter earnings report.
- The firm’s streaming business has 60% more paid users in the first quarter than in the same period last year. Active streamers also saw an 88% growth in the first quarter from last year.
- Bilibili’s gaming revenue grew 16% year-on-year during the same period to reach RMB 1.4 billion.
- The video streaming platform introduced “Story Mode” in 2021. The new feature displays short vertical videos for mobile users and aims to increase commercial performance and user engagement. The feature contributed 20% of its total video plays in the first quarter, according to the firm’s earnings call. In April, the company launched commercial services on the new feature.