China Digital Video 2019

As Consumers Explore New Formats, Traditional Broadcasters Shift Strategy

Digital Video 2019

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Forecasts for seven markets: US, Canada, China, France, Germany, Latin America, UK

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Executive Summary

The video industry in China is undergoing an upheaval, as consumers increasingly view content on digital—prompting traditional TV to adapt to this new paradigm. Meanwhile, 5G and artificial intelligence (AI) will further disrupt the market.

How much will digital video viewers in China grow?

Digital video viewers in China will grow 5.7% from 619.5 million in 2018 to 654.7 million this year. Growth has slowed somewhat from its peak of 13.7% in 2015.

What percentage of internet users in China watch digital video?

We estimate more than 75% of internet users in China will watch digital video at least once per month in 2019, and over 80% of them will use their smartphones to stream videos.

How has digital video viewing affected time spent with traditional TV?

In 2017, digital video accounted for only 23.2% of video time spent in China. By the end of 2019, the figure will have jumped to 33.0%.

What has changed in China’s digital video landscape in the last year?

The subscription share of over-the-top (OTT) revenues has overtaken advertising, and service providers are investing more in high-quality content. In the social video space, short-form video players are expanding their offerings through vlogs (video blogs).

Will 5G technology help drive virtual reality (VR) video consumer adoption?

5G has the potential to enhance VR experiences for consumers by improving on the technology’s immersive and interactive capabilities. Already, China is one of the biggest markets for VR headsets. Across VR activities, internet users in China say they are interested in using VR to watch movies/videos (second only to playing video games), but high adoption is far from certain.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report features our latest forecast for digital and mobile video viewers in China, as well as OTT streaming viewers and subscribers by platform. It also examines what’s driving the video streaming market in China in 2019.

KEY STAT: In 2019, we forecast digital video viewers in China will reach 654.7 million. That equates to 47.1% of the population.

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. An Overview of the Digital Video Landscape in China
  3. Digital Video Viewers in China
  4. The Trends Driving TV and Digital Video
  1. Overview of OTT Services
  2. Short-Form Video Apps
  3. Disruptive Technologies and Video
  4. Key Takeaways
  1. eMarketer Interviews
  2. Sources
  3. Media Gallery

Charts in This Report

Interviewed for This Report

Yang Chen
Hylink Digital Solutions
Senior Account and Media Planning Manager
Interviewed August 15, 2019
Lisa Guo
Managing Director, China
Interviewed August 22, 2019
Humphrey Ho
Hylink Digital Solutions
Managing Director, North America
Interviewed August 15, 2019
Hermes Ma
Head of Performance Media, Greater China
Interviewed July 12, 2019
Annie He
Kuaishou Technology
Global PR Manager
Interviewed July 18, 2019


Man-Chung Cheung


Shanshan Ao
Research Intern
Ross Benes
Senior Analyst
Monica Peart
Senior Director, Forecasting
Paul Verna
VP, Multimedia

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