Online Video in China

China Online Video

Wednesday, 2 March 2011
News Plaza Hotel, Beijing

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CASBAA concluded its successful Online Video in China forum, co-organised with CMM Intelligence, on Wednesday, 2 March 2011 at the News Plaza Hotel in Beijing. With over 100 delegates and speakers in attendance, the forum provided a platform for industry leaders to discuss in depth the issues associated with the growing popularity of consuming video over the Internet in China.

As one of Asia’s most dynamic media and communications markets, China has impressed the world with the unprecedented speed with which it has been transformed into a global industry powerhouse. Ever evolving, China has rapidly expanded its TV and communications market to meet the needs of a vast consumer base.

Today, online video ranks as the fifth most popular online diversion for China’s Internet population. An estimated 222 million Chinese, or 65% of China’s online population, spend at least part of their time online watching video. Viewer numbers are expected to grow to an estimated 300 million by the end of 2011.

In attendance at the forum were the likes of Ina Chin (Bestv), Zu Chen (, Sarah Zhang (Baidu Qiyi), Scarlett Li (Zebra Media), Xinquan Huang (China Radio International), Bin Cui (China Vison Media Group) and many others who identified several key issues affecting the market.

Trust and transparency in building strong partnerships with content providers, advertisers and end users, are the keys to the development of China’s online video market according to speakers.

However, monetisation is a key challenge.  With Chinese audiences not in the habit of paying for content because they can receive 50-60 channels for free, online video business models have to be, at least in part, ad funded but hard data on audience measurements is difficult to source.

Infrastructure concerns in terms of bandwidth speed were also pointed out.  While this situation is improving, what sort of collaboration will there be with telcos in the future remains an uncertainty.

Finally, copyright issues and a market that is not ‘standardized’ remains a hurdle where some on-line video services are using licensed content but others are not.

But all was not doom and gloom according to Speaker Johannes Larcher, SVP International, Hulu. He explained the reasons for his company’s success on the online platform as focusing on three key points - monetization of content with Hulu having more than 250 content partners and 600 advertising partners; secure distribution of content; and finally transparency – shared risk with their partners.

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