Linear TV maintains pole position as China’s online video consumption grows | Media Analysis | Business
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Watching linear TV remains the favourite method of consuming video entertainment for 75% of China’s population despite the growing uptake of online streaming services, according to new research.

The findings, published in the second instalment of Futuresource Consulting’s report Living With Digital China, cover the key trends in digital entertainment behaviour.

VIP membership subscriptions to the leading online video services are continuing to build in momentum, with most subscribers taking at least two services at once, the researchers found. The key reason for taking a service is that it is free from advertising, with range of content and exclusivity a motivation for subscribing to more than one digital video service.

“With no obvious primary viewing device, the variety of devices used to watch online video services is very fragmented. Smartphones, smart TVs and viewing directly on a PC/laptop are in particular being used by online video viewers,” said David Sidebottom, principal analyst at Futuresource Consulting.

A third of subscribers take extra pay-TV channels on top of basic tier channels, with sports and movies proving most popular in China. Cord-cutting is prevalent, however, with 27% of all pay-TV subscribers claiming to have cancelled services in the past year.

“Viewing movies is a key driver for Chinese consumers wanting to pay beyond basic TV channels, as opposed to Western countries, where the key reasons for continuing to take pay-TV services are related to ease of use,” adds Sidebottom.

Comedy was the favourite genre cited by respondents to Futuresource’s survey, with Chinese comedy movies and TV shows both featuring in the top three most popular genres. However, international content has increased in popularity, with over half saying they watch US/international content at least once a week.
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