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2018 Report of Online Copyright Industry Development in China Released in Beijing

On April 26, the Research Base of Online Copyright Industry of the National Copyright Administration released Report of Online Copyright Industry Development in China (2018) in Beijing. According to the report, in 2018, the scale of online copyright industry in China reached RMB 742.3 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 16.6%.

From the perspective of structure, online news media, online games and online videos had become three pillars of online copyright industry in China, accounting for 85% of the whole industry. Online news media industry continued to promote the development of media integration. Its development was based on high-quality contents and driven by technology innovation. With the support of AI news automatic writing, short videos, animations, voice broadcast and so on, online media were attracting more users. The online game industry was still developing vigorously driven by the new trends of e-sports, expanding in terms of user numbers. With innovation of advertising marketing and rapid development of paid membership business, the online video industry had achieved a revenue of RMB 96.3 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 32%.

From the perspective of profit models, driven by user-pay and advertising revenue, the profit model of online industry was further consolidated. In particular, the scale of user-pay for online copyright industry continued to grow rapidly, increasing from RMB 222.9 billion yuan in 2016 to RMB 368.6 billion yuan in 2018, with its shares in the whole online copyright market rising from 44% in 2016 to nearly 50% in 2018. In the area of user-pay, the proportion of online games, which had the largest user-pay revenues in the past, had been decreasing. User-pay became more diversified, with the proportion of online audio and video contents continuing to expand. At the same time, with increasing awareness of copyright protection, the profit model for new business was gradually formed. As the market scale of online articles, live broadcast and short videos had grown rapidly, structure of online copyright industry had become more diversified.

The report believed that the rapid growth of online copyright industry could be attributed to the pulling by the development of contents videos. On one hand, the proportion of users’ time spent on short videos to that on mobile web had increased from 1.2% in 2016 to 11.4% in 2018. Short videos had become the fast growing business, attracting many advertisers with the market scale soaring to RMB 19.5 billion yuan. On the other hand, the integration of short videos and other copyright formats had achieved significant duplicated effects, blurring the boundaries of each area of copyright industry, and developing the audio and video platforms and information platforms into an integrated one-stop platform.

From the perspective of business type convergence, continuous integration of new business types with mature business types had become a developing trend, such as the areas which had great potentials including Esports live broadcast, music short videos, and VR/AR games. The report showed that despite the slowdown of the growth rate of online games and live broadcast user-pay, the cross-linked Esports live broadcast had become a spotlight. In 2018, taking the opportunities of Esports being included in the Asian Games performances, game live broadcast had developed rapidly. After Chinese athletes won many heavyweight Esports competition champions, record-breaking attentions from users were paid to game live broadcast. The game live broadcast market exceeded RMB 14 billion yuan, with year-on-year growth of 62%. Confronted with the challenges of slowing down growth rate, online live broadcast and short videos were also cross-linked to explore future development path.

Faced with changing domestic and international situation in 2018, online copyright industry in China had grown on the basis of new starting point and achieved steady and rapid development through active structural adjustments, improving creation quality, planning for overseas market, and using emerging technologies.