×
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

  • Alan Horn Bill Tanner

    Alan Horn to Keynote Variety Business Managers Elite Breakfast, Bill Tanner to Be Honored

    Bill Tanner will be recognized with Variety’s 2019 Business Managers Elite Award at the annual Business Managers Elite Breakfast presented by City National Bank, which takes place in Beverly Hills on Nov. 13. Co-chairman and chief creative officer of The Walt Disney Studios Alan Horn will be the keynote speaker in conversation with Variety editor-in-chief, [...]

  • Smoke haze covers the Sydney Harbour

    Australia's Seven West to Merge With Affiliate Prime Media

    Australia’s Seven West Media has agreed a deal to acquire regional broadcast group Prime Media. The move is a further step in the consolidation of Australia’s traditional media industry. The two companies announced on Friday that Seven will make the acquisition entirely through the issue of new shares to the owners of Prime. Both companies [...]

  • Ron Meyer

    Ron Meyer Files $10 Million Suit Over Forged Rothko

    NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer has filed a $10 million suit against two art dealers, claiming they sold him a forged Mark Rothko painting in 2001. Meyer accuses Susan Seidel and Jaime Frankfort of duping him into buying the work. According to the suit, he was told that it would be included in an official [...]

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Harvey Weinstein Seeks to Call Expert on 'Recovered' Memories at Rape Trial

    Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys are seeking to call an expert on “recovered memories” at his trial on rape and sexual assault charges. The defense has filed a motion asking to call Deborah Davis, a psychologist and professor at the University of Nevada at Reno. Davis is a frequent defense witness. She co-authored an article in 2006 [...]

  • Tekashi 6ix9ine Docuseries Coming From Showtime

    Tekashi 6ix9ine Docuseries Coming From Showtime and Rolling Stone

    Showtime Documentary Films today announced a new limited docuseries profiling controversial rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine. Titled “SuperVillain” and inspired by the Rolling Stone feature written by Stephen Witt, the three-part series will trace how a New York City deli clerk named Daniel Hernandez became superstar rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine — who racked up 2.6 billion streams and [...]

  • Fader Label Logo

    Fader Label Signs Two New Acts, Boosts Staff

    The Fader Label, home to Clairo, Matt and Kim and others, announced two new signings today along with three new hires on its staff. Charlie Burg and Zachary Knowles have joined the label’s talent roster, while Carson Oberg has come aboard as general manager, Yasmine Panah as project manager and Josh Hymowitz as label coordinator. They [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content