iQIYI to spend more on content than major broadcasters in China | Media Analysis | Business
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Chinese digital entertainment platform iQIYI spent RMB21.1 billion (US$3.13 billion) on content in 2018, almost equivalent to the combined content spend of China’s top six TV networks, according to a new study.

Story of Yanxi Palace iQIYI 26 Dec 2018The subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) player has seen its spend increase soar from RMB46 million ($6.8 million) during its launch year in 2011, said Ampere Analysis. This equates to an average growth of 152% in content spend a year. In contrast, China’s leading traditional TV broadcasters, which includes state broadcaster CCTV  and the top five regional broadcasters (Hunan, Zhejiang, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Beijing) have an average annual growth in content spend of 21% from 2011 to 2018.

“Combined, the broadcasters are expected to spend RMB25.5bn ($3.8bn) on content in 2018. At the current rate, iQiYi is likely to overtake the total content expenditure of the dominant six TV broadcasters within two years,” said Orina Zhao, analyst at Ampere Analysis.

iQiYi has concentrated its resources on purchasing exclusives and producing original content. To date, it has produced around 250 original titles, with a focus on reality shows and TV series such as the hit historical drama, Story of Yanxi Palace (pictured).

Exclusive content now accounts for around 10% of iQiYi’s total catalogue, of which at least 700 titles are feature films, said Ampere.

“The Chinese SVOD market  is expected to continue growing quickly and ensuring a plethora of high quality content is the key factor for iQIYI to keep pace with its main SVOD competitors, Youku and Tencent Video,” said Orina Zhao.