×
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

  • The Edge, Adam Clayton and Bono

    U2 Tops Rolling Stones, Ed Sheeran as Highest-Grossing Touring Artist of the Decade

    U2 topped the Rolling Stones and Taylor Swift as the top-grossing touring artist of the 2010s, according to data from Pollstar. U2 grossed more than a billion dollars — $1,038,104,132, to be exact — although that number is likely to grow, as the group is currently on its “Joshua Tree 2019” tour in Australia, New [...]

  • supreme court byron allen comcast

    Africa Channel Owner, Congressional Black Caucus Blast Comcast Over Byron Allen Case

    The Congressional Black Caucus and an owner of cable’s Africa Channel have turned up the pressure on Comcast, blasting the cable giant for its business practices and legal strategy in fighting Byron Allen’s racial discrimination lawsuit. Paula Madison, an owner of The Africa Channel (TAC), issued a lengthy statement criticizing Comcast for what she characterized [...]

  • Def Jam Logo

    Layoffs Hit Def Jam Records

    Def Jam Records laid off several employees this week, including executive VP of brand strategy and content Noah Callahan-Bever and OJ Lima, senior VP in that department, a source close to the situation has confirmed to Variety. A total of seven employees let go, a number that includes regional promotion staffers not based in New [...]

  • The Story of Erroll Garner, the First

    The True Story of Erroll Garner, the First Artist to Sue a Major Label and Win

    It’s not at all unusual for artists to engage in creative or financial differences with their record labels, but only a few end up in court. Last year, Kanye West sued his label, Universal, and publisher, EMI, claiming that his deals amounted to “servitude” (the EMI suit was settled in September), echoing Prince’s famous battle [...]

  • Peter Gray

    Columbia Records Names Peter Gray Executive VP/ Head of Promotion

    Peter Gray, who stepped down as Warner Bros. Records’ executive VP/GM and head of radio promotion last year, is joining Columbia Records as the label’s EVP and head of promotion, sources tell Variety. He fills the role vacated by Lee Leipsner, who left the company in March. Gray’s appointment is the latest in a series [...]

  • U2, Seattle 14 May 2017

    U2 Drop New Song, ‘Ahimsa,’ Ahead of First Concert in India

    After a flurry of rumors on Thursday, U2 dropped their first single in two years: “Ahimsa,” a collaboration with Oscar- and Grammy-winning Indian musician AR Rahman, ahead of the group’s first-ever visit to the country next month. Rahman has a vast track record of film soundtracks and is best known for his work on the [...]

  • Sean "Diddy" Combs Revolt TV

    Sean Combs Slams 'Illusion of Economic Inclusion' at Comcast Amid Byron Allen Fight

    Sean Combs has come out swinging against Comcast in a lengthy statement prompted by the cable giant’s legal battle with Entertainment Studios chief Byron Allen. Combs accused Comcast of maintaining “the illusion of economic inclusion” in its handling of a carriage agreement with Combs’ Revolt TV channel. Combs was critical of Comcast for failing to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content