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Mobile usage to overtake TV this year in China


By Danielle Long, Acting APAC Editor

April 23, 2018 | 3 min read

Chinese consumers will spend more time on their mobile devices than watching TV this year, according to new research from eMarketer.

China’s online retail market to reach $1.1tn in 2018

Mobile usage to overtake TV this year in China

The research reveals adults in China will spend 2 hours, 39 minutes a day on mobile devices in 2018, which will account for 41.6% of their daily media time.

The figure, which is up 11.1% over last year, sees mobile usage overtake TV usage in China, which dropped 2%. eMarketer predicts adults will spend 32 minutes per day watching TV in 2018 accounting for 39.8% of daily media time.

Digital video viewing is one of the key driver of increased mobile time, with people expected to spend almost one hour (58 minutes) every day watching videos – an increase of nearly 26% year-on-year.

The video viewing is predicted to account for more than a quarter of the average Chinese consumers digital time. This is also predicted to increase to almost one third by 2020.

Online video has exploded in China and the market is facing strong competition among the key players Tencent Video, Baidu’s iQiyi and Alibaba’s Youku Todou.

The market is experiencing huge increases in advertising inventory, which is, in turn, driving users to paid subscription platforms. The key players are also investing heavily in exclusive content such as Youku Todou's recent deal with Endemol Shine and iQiyi, which recent IPO raised $2.2bn for content and platform development.

emarketer china

Shelleen Shum, forecasting director at eMarketer, said, “eMarketer’s forecasts are showing that in China, time spent watching TV will experience accelerated declines, with TV viewership falling further in lower-tier cities.

“Audiences increasingly consume digital video within platforms that provide a greater variety of content and allow for on-demand viewing. Faster networks and the proliferation of smartphones allow consumers to watch or post videos in between other daily activities.

Short form video consumption has also surged in popularity with Chinese consumers viewing huge amounts of content via smartphones, said Shum.

“Beyond long-form content such as dramas, short videos—both professionally and user-generated—have witnessed explosive growth in the past year.

“Short video apps like Xigua and Kuaishou have received heavy investment in the past year to help commercialize its content. E-commerce and news aggregator apps have also used short video content as a way to increase engagement among users,” said Shum.

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