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Online video subscribers in China to pass 300 million in 2019

China's online video market is predicted to reach maturity this year / Unsplash

The number of paid memberships on China’s online video platforms is set to pass 300 million in 2019, up from 230 million at the end of last year, according to new research.

A report by Chinese consulting firm Entgroup, ‘Observations on the 2018 China Paid Video Market’, has revealed that paid subscriptions to online video platforms have grown at a compound rate of 119% over the last three years. The increase has proven to be much faster than the growth of overall Chinese internet users which grew at just 6.28% over the same period.

The report suggests the meteoric growth will continue as more of China’s 800 million internet users adopt paid subscriptions for online video.

The growth will see the China online video market reach a point of maturity predicting one of the major platforms could boast more than 100 million subscribers by the end of the year. The China online video market is dominated by iQiyi, Youku and Tencent Video, which are locked in a fierce battle for the top spot.

The report revealed premium and original content continue to be the major drivers for subscriber increases in online paid video with technology such as AI expected to play a bigger role as platforms create greater user experiences.

The report combined data from multiple sources including the China Internet Network Information Center, financial reports from public companies and Entgroup’s database.

Liu Cuiping, vice president at Entgroup, said in a statement,"Our report clearly shows that paid content has already become a driving force in China's online entertainment market in 2018”

“This was most clearly demonstrated by the listing of market leader iQIYI on NASDAQ last spring, showing that capital is beginning to realize the huge potential of this market if companies have a clear business development strategy and a focus on attaining new members and the creation of strong original content.”