Douyin, TikTok’s Chinese counterpart, has established a new department dedicated to entertainment ventures, according to a Monday report by 36Kr citing multiple sources. The move aims to centralize the management of activities ranging from live-streaming programs and variety shows to dramas and music.
Why it matters: Douyin’s emphasis on cultural and entertainment content not only enriches its product ecosystem but, more importantly, helps the platform to further diversify its revenue streams.
Details: Chen Duye, head of the recently established division and previously in charge of Ocean Engine, ByteDance’s marketing platform for business promotions across its various apps, will directly report to Han Shangyou, who now holds a prominent position within Douyin.
- Live broadcasts, particularly sports events and concerts, will take priority within the newly-established department, according to 36Kr, due to Douyin getting a taste for broadcasting major events over the past year.
- Official data reveals that 10.6 billion cumulative viewers tuned in to watch the 2022 Qatar World Cup on Douyin. The leading short video platform reportedly spent over RMB 1 billion to secure broadcasting rights.
- Amid COVID-19 restrictions impacting offline entertainment, Chinese-operated short video platforms recognized online events as a source of growth. Douyin, along with competitors Kuaishou and WeChat Channel, organized various concerts and live events featuring renowned musical artists, which has proven effective in drawing user engagement.
- Variety shows, traditionally confined to television or long-form video platforms, have often been constrained by funding limitations during their pre-project phases in China. Nonetheless, the report highlights Douyin’s current efforts to create more original reality TV and variety shows, subsequently monetizing on an uptick in popularity. This involves various approaches, including live commerce activities on the platform and the introduction of content-charging within the platform.
- Short-form dramas have also become a growing focal point for Douyin and its rival Kuaishou, as they strategically monetize their extensive user base. According to data revealed by Kuaishou, by the end of 2022, short dramas on the app attracted up to 260 million active viewers a day, with paid users for short dramas increasing by over 480% in the first quarter compared to a year earlier. While both companies did not provide specific figures, Douyin reported a 72% year-on-year revenue growth in the same sector in 2022.
Context: As of last December, the China Internet Network Information Center reported that over 70% of the Chinese population had accessed short videos, highlighting the significant reach of these platforms as mainstream entertainment channels across the country. The report also noted that individuals spent an average of 2.5 plus hours on the platforms every day.