Your Guide To Social Video In China And South East Asia
By Raflin Sarkisyan | March 28, 2019
Are you attracted by the growing opportunity of monetizing live video on Chinese social networks?
It’s difficult not to be – China has become the largest social network market in the world, with about 800 million social media users. Because of the censorship of the Internet, you might wonder what kind of social video would generate this kind of hype and why is it so popular in China.
Join the journey with us and keep reading to discover a new way to monetise your live video content in China.
A little bit of context…
Let’s rewind and try to see how we got here and why is social video so viral in China & SEA today.
With the influence of globalisation, China has opened up its virtual frontiers. Social media and research engines have become the primary tools for Chinese audiences, especially for the young generation to fulfil their curiosity. With the high level of collectivism, Gen Z have been representing a strong internal motivation to sociability, and they are motivated to reach a digital platform to express themselves freely and look for their social identities. Meanwhile, the influence of KOL on social media has provided the condition of content advertising.
Also, the development of economy engages Chinese consumers to look for more opportunities to spend money. After the effort of increasing GDP by public construction, the Chinese government encourages heavily that citizens to consume in the local market. Traditional video advertising is no longer exciting for local consumers. The growth of e-commerce inspired Chinese marketers, like Alibaba Group and Jingdong to combine live video and online shopping on social media.
With the developments of 5G, traditional broadcasters transform to digital social networks, the live and short video of the social media market grows surpassingly these years in China. In one way, the growth of smartphone users pushes the need for mobile applications. Because of the development of mobile social media integrated real-time communication and social community, the high traffic and growing purchase intention attract marketers to monetise the live video content on social media.
What do the numbers say?
To better understand the scale of this market, we have prepared some statistics about the consumption and demographics. As it turns out, the total advertising revenue of video on social networks is estimated to reach 6214.6 million Yuan in 2019. Naturally, the type of advertising has evolved along with consumer behaviours.
According to the latest research, 64% of audiences have consuming purposes when they watched live video on social media and 27%of them are willing to purchase through social platforms. It shows that those audiences actually have had a perception of products from live video and used the social network as access to purchase. Before the hype of live video on social media, the e-commerce market has been well established and growing to maturity. So e-commerce marketers have contributed large advertising content on live video in social networks nowadays.
On the other hand, the live video (for mobile users) market penetration rate: 21.8% since 2018. Meaning in every 100 mobile users, there are nearly 22 of them have been the active users of video social media in China. Particularly, researchers expected this figure will continue to grow in 2019. It reminds the social media platform is no longer only adjust on PC but also need to adapt to the mobile device.
Since 2017, the daily traffic of live video on the mobile platform has reached 1.1 million. In the early stage of the market, It seems that the growth of live video is benefited from the big population of audiences. However, this benefit is slowly disappearing in 2019 since the market has moved to the “ ShakeOut” stage of the life cycle. It means audiences already had their viewing habits and loyal preference of social media. The competition will focus on the high quality of video content and creativity on live interaction methods with audiences.
What’s more, do you know the profile and using behaviours of Chinese audiences?
The average age of audiences is between 25-29 years old, 59.6% of users are male. Main audiences on live content social networks are located on the south and eastern coast of China. These areas are more open to the international market and generate some clusters of technology and software development. The general profile can explain the activeness and openness of audiences on social networks.
Regarding the research report, every audience opens a video social platform 3 times per day and spends between 13.14 to 54.36 minutes on it. In 2018, Chinese audiences installed at least 1-2 social video applications on their mobile phones. You can see there is a high rate of returning visitors on video social mobile applications in China.
So now you probably are going to question how to monetise live video effectively in China? The answer is instead of inserting simple video advertising or collecting clicks by views, you can:
- Combine Live streaming and Content marketing: insert direct links to relevant e-commerce platforms during live streaming. The content of the live video is about product experiences. It is a very common method for e-commerce marketers like Alibaba Group and Jingdong to use PGC. On one hand, audiences can be attracted by the near-live experience. Meanwhile, brands generate sales revenues and improve brand awareness.
- Combine Live streaming with Live interaction: audiences can respond or show their love by sending out visual gifts or voting for content in the live video. This case can apply on PGC and UGC because the main objective is to use a flexible and creative way to interact with audiences in lives. The emotional attach with audiences in the live video is a way to improve the rate of repeating visitors on social networks.
What are the top video social media in China?
- Douyin (Tik Tok) – Founded in 2016.
A mobile platform that allows users to create and share short and live video. The live video contents on this platform focus on entertainment and interaction with audiences. Nowadays, regarding research paper, there are at least 500 million global active users monthly on Tik Tok.
- Miaopai (owned by Sina Weibo) – Founded in 2011
A social community to share live and short videos and a user-friendly tool to create contents. Users could use it to film short videos with multiple functions (clip and edit, add personal logo). Using KOL to produce PGC and improve the quality of UGC. Meanwhile, it cooperates with public TV broadcasters to produce short video clips on social media. The major traffic comes from the existing audiences on Weibo, which is the biggest text, images and short videos social platform in China.
- Kuaishou ( founded by Tencent) – Founded in 2011
A mobile application which generated 50 million daily users and 5 million video contents per day. It includes UGC and PGC on entertainment. Live-streaming with live interaction with audiences (includes live comments, sponsorship and mini-games) and e-commerce are the key features of monetisation.
- Momo – Founded in 2011
A mobile messaging application to communicate with strangers who are nearby. Users can share a 10 second short and editable video with strangers and sponsor the content. In 2016, it published a sub-app called Tiki which focused on live video sociability. It allows audiences to watch live video and interact with anchor directly. In 2017, Momo held up a live interview with the actors of Spider-Man which generated 5000 thousand views.
Challenges of live video social platform in China
Firstly, as mentioned before, the competition will request marketers to produce a higher quality of content, not only live but also for short video. Secondly, since most of the audiences are mobile users, the requirement of video mobile platform is different than that on PC. For example, many existing social platforms don’t support vertical and horizontal video playback. Being faster to push more and better content is what marketers looking for now.
Secondly, the latency of live streaming is a big pain point for social media. It influences the quality of live content delivery and decreases fans engagement. Plus, most of the social media do not provide the speech-to-text feature, an important feature to improve audience engagement.
Thirdly, although marketers have opened purchasing access for the audiences in live video, like online shopping through the third party digital platform. Audiences still need to quit or pause the live streaming when they were purchasing, it slowed down the monetisation speed and engagement on social networks.
Last but not least, 2019 is a challenging moment for social media platforms in China, many experts believe that the competition between live video on social media will be updated to the next level this year, there will high entry barriers and growth of the bargaining power of buyers (B2C) for new entry marketers.
To Sum Up
To monetise your live video in China & SEA, you will benefit from a large number of the social media user base with a strong purchasing intention. But to increase the traffic, you need to create a high quality of video content with stable technology support and use those popular Chinese social networks to keep interaction with your target audiences.