×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Chinese Video Giant iQIYI Loses $1.3 Billion in 2018

Chinese video streaming firm iQIYI lost over $1.3 billion in 2018, as revenues and subscriber numbers ballooned. The deepening losses reflected ever higher spending on original content production.

Announcing its first full-year financials since a March IPO that launched it onto the NASDAQ, iQIYI said that it lost $1.3 billion (RMB9.1 billion) last compared with RMB3.7 billion in 2017. It lost $506 million (RMB3.5 billion) in the last three months alone. Revenues climbed by 52% year on year to $3.6 billion (RMB25.0 billion)

The company operates a hybrid model of free-to-use, ad-supported content and paid-for subscriptions. At the end of 2018, it had increased its total subscribing members to 87.4 million (98% of whom were paying subscribers) from 50.8 million a year earlier, for a gain of 72%.

“We are confident in generating growth across the board, led by membership services which has demonstrated continued momentum. We maintain our strategic focus on producing original premium content, and will continue to advance our technology innovation and nurture our ecosystem to fully leverage the tremendous IP value in our content,” said founder and CEO Tim Gong Yu.

“Membership business continued to be the main engine driving our growth… 2018 was also a transition year for us, as we devoted more resources towards producing original content which added pressure to our margins,” said Wang Xiaodong, chief financial officer of iQIYI. “We believe our investment in premium content will prove to be very rewarding and help better position the company for long-term growth.”

iQIYI’s parent company, China’s online search leader Baidu, also published its annual results on Friday. These showed revenues of $14.9 billion, up 28% from 2017, or 31% excluding the impact of announced divestures. Baidu’s net for 2018 were $4.01 billion (RMB 27.6 billion), increasing 51% from 2017. For the continuing businesses the profit figure was $4.89 billion(RMB 33.6 billion), up 52%.

The news announcement was made after the close of Thursday trading on the NASDAQ. Shares of iQIYI were little changed at $22.76 apiece. After hours they drifted down to $22.65. That compared with an IPO price of $18 per share. Baidu shares, also listed on the NASDAQ in ADR form, were up 3% on Thursday ahead of its results announcement, closing at $171.81.

More Biz

  • Kevin Tsujihara

    Kevin Tsujihara's Ouster Kicks Off a Week of Major Disruption in the Media Business

    The sudden ouster of Warner Bros. Entertainment chief Kevin Tsujihara kicked off what is likely to go down as one of the most extraordinary weeks in Hollywood history, spelling enormous turmoil and transition across the media landscape. In addition to the news about Tsujihara, which comes amid a wider shake-up of leadership at AT&T’s WarnerMedia, [...]

  • Disney Fox mega deal acquisition Illustration

    Disney Completes 21st Century Fox Acquisition

    Before the East Coast airing of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” ends tonight, Disney will formally seal the deal on its $71 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox. “This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us — one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders,” Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger said in [...]

  • Chinese Tech Firm Huawei Seeks Content

    Beleaguered Chinese Tech Firm Huawei Seeks Content for Expansion Into Southeast Asia

    One of the most surprising first-time attendees at FilMart is Chinese tech giant Huawei, which has come to Hong Kong to acquire the video content it needs to support its strategy of expansion into Southeast Asia. The company is currently embroiled in a PR nightmare as it defends itself against accusations that its equipment could [...]

  • Viacom HQ LA

    Viacom Goes to War With AT&T Over DirecTV Carriage Deal

    Viacom has declared war against AT&T, blasting the telco giant on several fronts as the companies wrestle over a carriage renewal deal that is vital to Viacom’s long-term financial health. As of today, Viacom has begun running crawls and promo spots on its channels warning viewers that Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, MTV and other channels [...]

  • Peloton Sued for $150 Million for

    Peloton Sued for $150 Million for Using Drake, Lady Gaga Music Without License

    A group of publishers including Downtown Music Publishing, Pulse Music Publishing, ole, peermusic, Ultra Music, Big Deal Music, Reservoir, Round Hill, TRO Essex Music Group and The Royalty Network filed a lawsuit against Peloton for infringement of more than a thousand musical works, according to a statement from the National Music Publishers Association. The plaintiffs are [...]

  • Bruce Ramer Re-Appointed to Corporation for

    Bruce Ramer Re-Appointed to Corporation for Public Broadcasting Board

    Top showbiz attorney Bruce Ramer has been reappointed to the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the nonprofit org that administers federal funding for public broadcasting. Ramer, a partner at Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman, was elected chair of the CPB board in October. He previously served as board chair from 2010-2012. His [...]

  • Gary Knell

    Listen: National Geographic Chief Gary Knell on Disney Future, Fox's Legacy

    The marriage of National Geographic Partners and Disney, which becomes official today, is the proverbial brand match made in heaven. Disney is taking over the stewardship of Nat Geo Partners — a joint venture with the National Geographic Society — as part of its acquisition of 21st Century Fox. The transition comes at a time [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content