Chinese web users racked up over 4.1 billion hours of collective streaming of web videos in August, according to a new report from ComScore. That time was spent watching 29.75 billion internet videos in total, seeing a mix of user-generated content, licensed TV serials and movies, and perhaps some pirated stuff thrown in there as well.
The summer’s stickiest video streaming sites in China were:
- 1st: Youku (NYSE:YOKU) used for 698 million hours of web video viewing
- 2nd: Baidu’s (NASDAQ:BIDU) iQiyi for 569 million hours
- 3rd: Tencent’s (HKG:0700) V.QQ.com for 474 million hours
- 4th: Sohu’s (NASDAQ:SOHU) TV.sohu.com for 406 million hours
- 5th: Tudou (NYSE:YOKU after its merger with Youku) for 291 million hours
And then a gaggle of smaller competing sites took up the rest of the viewership, such as Xunlei in 6th and PPLive in 7th.
Compared to the same metrics from ComScore for January 2012, we see the total viewing time for one major sites dropping a lot – yes, you, Tudou. But nearly all the other sites grew their audience time in this period, notably Qiyi, Tencent’s video site, Sohu TV, and Xunlei’s web vid offerings.
This solid amount of online time indicates why brands must effectively target China’s web video sites so as to catch the attention of the nation’s young, upwardly mobile, middle-class consumers; they’re more likely to watch, say, a Korean romantic drama on Youku than spend his/her evening watching rather dull state TV which permits very little overseas or challenging programming. Little wonder that the past year or so has been marked by an explosion in the cost of licensed TV and movie content, seeing the rights to a Chinese serial drama hit almost $100,000 per episode.