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Online Media Consumption Habits - China - August 2016

“Chinese consumers are heavily consuming online media. Adapting to consumers’ consumption habits is vital for increasing the efficiency of marketing communications. Leveraging emerging online media types can be an innovative channel to impress consumers.”
– Terra Xu, Senior Research Analyst

This report examines the following areas:

  • Marketing via online media in fragmented time slots
  • Marketing via bullet screen comments and live streaming
  • Making video advertisements more efficient
  • Opportunities for online news
  • Attracting paid users by enhancing experience

Online media is playing a more and more important part in Chinese consumers’ daily lives. Consumers’ preference for online media on weekdays and holidays differ, and it is important that marketers adapt their marketing communication to consumers’ media consumption habits. Leveraging the innovative online media forms, such as bullet screen comments and live streaming, may help the brands to have deeper and more real interaction with consumers.

An increasing number of online media consumers have developed the habits of paying for online media. For online media providers, enhancing user experience is equally important as offering appealing content to attract paid users.

This report covers people’s online media consumption habits. Online media refers to news and editorial content (eg magazines), film and television content, music and radio content as well as games which are exclusively accessible via a computer (ie desktop, laptop), tablet or smartphone. Text messaging on mobile phones is not included.

The report focuses on consumers’ consumption habits of online streamed media (ie video, music, radio) while other types of media content (eg games, news, e-books) are discussed where necessary.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Demographic classification
          • Personal income
            • Household income
            • Executive Summary

                • The consumer
                  • Online media is increasingly important in consumers’ lives
                    • Smartphone is still the major device, and more content to be adapted to smart TVs
                      • Figure 1: Consumption of online media, by digital devices, May 2016 and April 2015
                    • News, music, e-books and radios are preferred on weekdays
                      • Figure 2: Usage of online media on different occasions, May 2016
                    • Consumers are willing to pay for online videos or music
                      • iQIYI, QQ Music and Kugou Music are top media streaming websites
                        • Figure 3: Paid users of video or music streaming websites, May 2016
                      • Content and experience are both important to attract paid users
                        • Figure 4: Attractive paid membership benefits, May 2016
                      • When watching online videos, consumers prefer to remain part of the audience
                          • Figure 5: Activities undertaken when watching online videos, May 2016
                        • Going comprehensive is not necessary for video streaming websites
                          • Consumers who are more likely to watch advertising videos tend to be more active on social media
                            • Figure 6: Attitudes towards online videos, May 2016
                          • Opportunities for online news
                            • Figure 7: Attitudes towards online news, May 2016
                          • Mintropolitans are more willing to pay for membership
                            • Figure 8: Paid users of video or music streaming websites, by consumer classification, May 2016
                          • What we think
                          • Issues and Insights

                            • Marketing via online media in fragmented time slots
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                  • Marketing via bullet screen comments and live streaming
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                        • Making video advertisements more efficient
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                              • Opportunities for online news
                                                • The facts
                                                  • The implications
                                                    • Attracting paid users by enhancing experience
                                                      • The facts
                                                        • The implications
                                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                          • Penetration of online media sees an increase
                                                            • Smartphone is still the major device, and more content to be adapted to smart TVs
                                                              • News, music, e-books and radios are preferred on weekdays
                                                                • Consumers are willing to pay for online video and music
                                                                  • Both content and experience are important to attract paid users
                                                                    • When watching online videos, consumers prefer being in the audience rather than participants
                                                                      • Social media users skew to males, and bullet screen comments appeal to those in early 20s
                                                                        • For video streaming websites, going comprehensive is not necessary
                                                                          • Who are more likely to watch advertising videos?
                                                                            • Opportunities for online news
                                                                              • Mintropolitans are more willing to pay for membership
                                                                              • Online Media Consumption on Different Devices

                                                                                • Penetration of online media sees an increase
                                                                                  • Figure 9: Penetration of online media on computers, smartphones and tablets, May 2016 and April 2015
                                                                                • 20s and 30s are still core users
                                                                                  • Figure 10: Penetration of online media, by age and city tier, May 2016
                                                                                • Online radios and e-books attract more consumers with higher education
                                                                                  • Figure 11: Penetration of online media, by personal income and education level, May 2016
                                                                                • Smartphone is the major device for online media consumption
                                                                                  • Videos and games to focus on enhancing using experience
                                                                                    • Tablets to develop e-book reading and other educational features
                                                                                      • Adapting more content to Smart TVs
                                                                                        • Figure 12: Consumption of online media, by digital devices, May 2016
                                                                                    • Usage Occasions of Online Media

                                                                                      • News, music, e-books and radio are preferred during weekdays.
                                                                                        • Figure 13: Usage of online media on weekdays and weekends/holidays, May 2016
                                                                                      • Music is the most popular choice during commute on weekdays, especially among 20-24-year-olds
                                                                                        • Online news is popular during work/study and lunch breaks
                                                                                          • Keeping up with the news is important throughout weekdays, especially for males
                                                                                            • Videos and games are popular choice during weekends, day or night
                                                                                              • Figure 14: Usage of online media on different occasions, May 2016
                                                                                          • Paid Users of Media Streaming Websites

                                                                                            • Most online media consumers have paid for online video or music
                                                                                              • Figure 15: Number of paid memberships for video or music streaming websites, May 2016
                                                                                            • Consumers are more willing to pay for online videos than online music
                                                                                              • Paid music users tend to pay for videos too
                                                                                                • Figure 16: Paid users of video or music streaming websites, May 2016
                                                                                              • 20s and 30s are more willing to pay for online videos or music
                                                                                                • Figure 17: Paid users of video or music streaming websites, by age and city tier, May 2016
                                                                                              • Paid users of online videos and online music significantly increased
                                                                                                • Figure 18: Paid users and intended paid users of video and music streaming websites, May 2016 and April 2015
                                                                                              • Paid users are more conscious of copyright issues
                                                                                                • Exclusive content and differentiating price ranges also drive the growth
                                                                                                    • Figure 19: Paid membership package of streaming video and music websites, August 2016
                                                                                                  • iQIYI leads in paid membership of video streaming websites
                                                                                                    • Competitors drive growth using various approaches
                                                                                                      • Figure 20: Paid video streaming users, by leading websites, May 2016
                                                                                                    • Paid users of leading video streaming websites tend to overlap
                                                                                                      • Figure 21: Overlapped paid users of leading video streaming websites, May 2016
                                                                                                    • QQ Music and Kugou Music lead music streaming websites
                                                                                                      • Figure 22: Paid music streaming users, by leading websites, May 2016
                                                                                                    • Paid users skew slightly to males
                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Paid user profile of leading video and music streaming websites, by gender and age, May 2016
                                                                                                    • Most paid users have higher education degrees
                                                                                                      • Figure 24: Paid user profile of leading video and music streaming websites, by income and education, May 2016
                                                                                                  • Attractive Membership Benefits

                                                                                                    • Content is still essential to attract paid members
                                                                                                      • Being the first to enjoy shows attract consumers in their 20s and 30s
                                                                                                        • Live broadcasting shows attract more males
                                                                                                          • Original content sees potential, especially among consumers aged 25-39
                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Attractive paid membership benefits, content wise, May 2016
                                                                                                          • Consumers also seek experience – high-resolution content is key
                                                                                                            • Efficient self-service systems may be more attractive than all-day customer services
                                                                                                              • Promotion for other products can attract consumers aged over 24
                                                                                                                • Figure 26: Attractive paid membership benefits, experience and additional benefits, May 2016
                                                                                                            • Activities When Watching Online Videos

                                                                                                              • Consumers prefer being in audience rather than content contributors
                                                                                                                • No significant city tier difference
                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Activities when watching online videos, May 2016
                                                                                                                • Males and consumers aged 25-39 are more likely to use social media when watching online video
                                                                                                                  • Bullet screen comments are popular among 20-24-year-olds
                                                                                                                    • Figure 28: Using bullet screen comments and social media when watching video, by demographics, May 2016
                                                                                                                  • Relatively few consumers would click on advertisements when watching online videos
                                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Activities when watching online videos (continued), May 2016
                                                                                                                  • High earners are more likely to purchase products appearing in videos
                                                                                                                    • Consumers who purchase products in videos tend to be active social media users
                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Advertisement-related activities when watching video, by demographics, May 2016
                                                                                                                  • Attitudes towards Online Media

                                                                                                                    • Attitudes towards online videos
                                                                                                                      • Going comprehensive is not necessary anymore
                                                                                                                        • Increase exposure on social media
                                                                                                                          • Who are more likely to watch advertising videos?
                                                                                                                              • Figure 31: Attitudes towards online videos, May 2016
                                                                                                                            • Value perception is similar across leading video streaming websites
                                                                                                                              • Figure 32: Agreement on “Paid membership of video websites is good value for money”, by paid members of leading websites, May 2016
                                                                                                                            • Attitudes towards online news
                                                                                                                              • People are not giving up traditional media
                                                                                                                                • Online news providers to increase user loyalty
                                                                                                                                  • Consumers show low tolerance for advertisements in online news
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Attitudes towards online news, May 2016
                                                                                                                                  • Attitudes towards copyright issues
                                                                                                                                    • Consciousness of copyright yet to be fostered
                                                                                                                                      • More sophisticated consumers are willing to pay to show respect
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Attitudes towards copyright issues, by demographics, May 2016
                                                                                                                                    • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                                                                                                      • Mintropolitans are more interested in online radio, games and e-books
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Penetration of online media, by consumer classification, May 2016
                                                                                                                                      • Mintropolitans are more willing to pay for membership
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Paid users of video or music streaming websites, by consumer classification, May 2016
                                                                                                                                      • Mintropolitans are willing to pay for more privileges
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Attractive paid membership benefits, by consumer classification, May 2016
                                                                                                                                      • Promotional videos are more appealing to Mintropolitans
                                                                                                                                        • Mintropolitans do not show significant preference for online news
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Attitudes towards online videos and online news, by consumer classification, May 2016
                                                                                                                                        • Mintropolitans show higher recognition for the author
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Attitudes towards copyright issues, by consumer classification, May 2016
                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                        • Methodology
                                                                                                                                          • Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

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                                                                                                                                          Online Media Consumption Habits - China - August 2016

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