ComScore: China Watched 4.1 Billion Hours of Web Videos in August

Steven Millward
2:32 pm on Oct 8, 2012

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) for 474 million hours
  • 4th: Sohu’s (NASDAQ:SOHU) 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.

(And yes, we're serious about ethics and transparency. More information here.)

  • Raymond Francis Jr.

    If you were to convert to number of years, that would be 474537 years. please correct me if I’m wrong. But I’m right, that’s almost half a million years of wasted productivity. lol.

  • Nicholas Ding

    Hi, can I have the original source of the data?

    • Steven Millward

      @Nicolas As usually happens with these reports, they were supplied to an individual company/site who opted to make some details of it public to some media – so this won’t be on the comScore site, unfortunately. Same happened with the data from January; though on those two occasions, two different sites leaked the info to media.

  • Nicholas Ding

    Hi Steven, thanks very much for your reply.
    comScore is a research house I usually track for online video rankings. While it’s easier to find monthly U.S. video rankings, I wasn’t able to get the latest press release with regard to China’s online video industry.
    Btw, I’m also doing China internet research, at a consulting firm in Shanghai. I always read your timely and insightful articles on Tech in Asia. It’s good to know that you stay in Suzhou, which is quite close to Shanghai. I has just followed you on Sina Weibo. My ID is NT_NT. I hope I could have the opportunity to discuss more with you about the internet industry.
    Thanks and regards.

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