×

APOS: China’s Booming Streaming Market is Opening to Specialty Platforms

The transformation of China’s video market is creating opportunities for new specialty players, as well as driving up content acquisition prices, says Thomas Hui, COO at CMC Holdings.

Those trends are informing a portfolio consolidation at CMC Holdings’ parent company, China Media Capital. CMC has been a pioneering media investor in China, and includes Warner Bros. and WPP among its backers.

“The big three OTT players (Alibaba’s Youku, Tencent Video, and Baidu’s iQIYI) are all doing well, increasing subscriber numbers, and advertising revenues. And as a consequence, all are investing more in content,” said Hui, speaking Wednesday at the APOS conference in Indonesia.

“Specialty and short form content platforms are gaining traction both with viewers and in the capital markets,” said Hui. Leaders in the new sector are: Bilibili, which is focused on animation content; PPTV, which specializes in sports and is actively adding to its collection of rights; and Douyu TV, which is dedicated to games and the fans that watch the top players. Bilibili recently completed an IPO on the NASDAQ stock market in the U.S. Its current market capitalization is $3.11 billion.

Hui said that CMC’s portfolio is consolidating in three areas: content production; specialized online platforms; and live event management. CMC now has stakes in Daylight Entertainment, TVB, The Voice of China in content production; speciality OTT platforms including Bilibili, and Pear Video; and CMC Live, Legoland Park China in the live events sector.

Popular on Variety

“The Baidu-, Alibaba- and Tencent-backed OTT companies are edging aside the traditional TV companies,” said Hui. “They have broad reach, and they are producing premium content in order to drive conversion to subscription. The prices they are paying per episode is RMB10-15 million ($1.6 million to $2.4 million), that is two or three times what they were spending just two years ago.”

That content remains largely China-focused and has not developed much of an export market to date.
“There must come a day when this happens. It has not happened as quickly as we wanted, despite better production values in China. China’s internal growth has been a distraction,” said Hui. “And incumbent forces are strong. We still have an older generation of Chinese artists. We need a new generation Jackie Chan or Andy Lau in order to achieve mass (international) appeal,” Hui said.

More Digital

  • Vudu

    NBCUniversal in Talks to Buy Walmart's Vudu

    Comcast’s NBCUniversal is looking to add some Vudu into its streaming-video mix. The media conglomerate is in talks to buy Vudu, the Walmart-owned entertainment rental, download and free-streaming service, sources confirm to Variety. It’s unclear what the terms of the pact would be or the timing. News of NBCU’s interest in Vudu was first reported [...]

  • Tubi

    Fox in Talks to Acquire Free-Streaming Service Tubi for Over $500 Million (Report)

    Fox Corp. is in discussions about acquiring Tubi, the ad-supported free streaming service, in a deal worth more than $500 million, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing anonymous sources. With Tubi, Rupert Murdoch’s TV broadcasting and cable company would be adding a dedicated streaming component — offering over 20,000 older TV shows and [...]

  • Zombies 2 Disney Channel

    How Disney Channel's 'Zombies 2' Production Team Made Monsters Kid-Friendly

    Traditionally spooky creatures like zombies and werewolves get the Disney treatment in “Zombies 2,” the follow-up to the 2018 hit TV-movie musical of the same name. While the undead have now assimilated into the community of Seabrook, they’re confronted by a new set of outsiders: werewolves. Milo Manheim and Meg Donnelly return as Zed and [...]

  • Baby Yoda - The Child Animatronic

    Hasbro's Adorable Baby Yoda Animatronic Toy Is Already Sold Out on Disney's Online Store

    The Force remains strong for toys based on Baby Yoda, the breakout star of Disney Plus original series “The Mandalorian.” Less than a day after becoming available for pre-order, Hasbro’s new $59.99 Baby Yoda animatronic toy is no longer available on Disney’s official online store: As of Friday morning, Shop Disney listed it as “sold [...]

  • BTS Leads Spotify’s New Music Friday

    BTS Leads Spotify’s New Music Friday Playlist Rebrand

    Spotify has launched a global rebrand of its popular New Music Friday playlist, which this week features BTS, The Weeknd, Noah Cyrus, Trippie Redd, Kenny Chesney, Rei Ami and others. The revamped playlist, which has 43 versions worldwide, has more than 3.5 million followers in the US and eight million globally. New elements include a [...]

  • The Witcher - Netflix

    'The Witcher' Season 2 Production Starts in U.K., Adds Seven to Cast Including 'Game of Thrones' Star Kristofer Hivju

    Production on fantasy epic “The Witcher” Season 2 has commenced in the U.K., with a planned launch in 2021, Netflix announced. The show also announced seven new cast members joining “The Witcher” for S2, including Kristofer Hivju, the Norwegian actor who played the red-bearded wilding leader Tormund Giantsbane on “Game of Thrones.” Netflix last month [...]

  • Disney Plus - Vizio

    Disney Plus Is Now on Vizio Smart TVs in Native App

    Disney Plus is available on Vizio’s SmartCast TV platform as a built-in app, making the Mouse House’s subscription-streaming service accessible directly to users of the manufacturer’s 13 million SmartCast-enabled televisions. Previously, Vizio users have been able to stream Disney Plus on SmartCast TVs through Apple AirPlay 2 and Chromecast. But with the Disney Plus update, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content