China’s digital radio and television sectors show impressive growth in 2018

Online TV and radio made more money than ever thanks to growing ad and subscription revenue.

A statistical bulletin from the Chinese National Radio and Television Industry highlights the growing importance of digital platforms in the country’s broadcasting sector.

To begin, Chinese consumers are increasingly paying to access television and radio content online. The number of users who paid for audio-visual content online reached 347 million, up nearly 24% from 280 million in 2017.

Meanwhile, digital platforms are playing a larger role in creating radio and television content. Though the number of online dramas in 2018 was about the same as in 2017, online platforms directly invested in 593 of these, a 45% increase year-on-year.

Online advertising revenue from radio and television programs also jumped, reaching RMB 49.2 billion (USD 7.30 billion), a 60.1% increase year-on-year, and accounting for 26.4% of the segment’s total advertising revenue, compared with an 18.6% share the year before.

New media operators—namely, companies providing IPTV and Internet TV (OTT) services on client applications, WeChat, Weibo, and other sites—also grew revenue significantly. Total sales reached RMB 46.8 billion (USD 6.9 billion), up 68% year-on-year, and within this, IPTV hit RMB 10 billion (USD 1.5 billion), up 48.6%, while OTT revenue reached RMB 4.7 billion (USD 698 million), soaring 156% from 2017.

Editor: Nadine Freischlad