The online audio and video industry is experiencing the emergence of new scenarios and business models that are transforming cultural production, communication, and consumption. This dynamic industry not only enriches people’s daily lives but also revolutionizes the way content is created and consumed.
According to a recently released industry report, China had 1.04 billion internet audio and video users as of December 2022, with the online audio and video market exceeding 700 billion yuan ($101.8 billion) last year.
The growth of this industry can be attributed to the popularity of short videos, which have amassed a staggering 1.012 billion users, making it the largest category within the internet audio and video application landscape.
Li Jun, the general manager of Migu’s Chengdu branch, a digital content subsidiary of China Mobile, highlighted the massive user base and user attraction capabilities of short videos. The innovative formats and diverse content of short videos enhance user interaction, participation, creativity, and self-expression. Additionally, the integration of short video platforms with other applications has created a cross-field content distribution and communication network, providing users with broader access to this sector.
Zhang Chenliang, the director of the media center of Chinese National Geography magazine and a renowned video blogger with 23 million online followers, emphasized the unique advantages of short videos over photos and articles. Short videos incorporate various elements such as images, voice-overs, music, and film editing, resulting in more immersive and engaging content that facilitates the dissemination of popular science.
Livestreaming is another integral part of the online audio and video industry, with 751 million users, making it the second-largest application category after short videos. Livestreaming has become deeply integrated into entertainment, education, commerce, and other fields.
The influence of online audio and video platforms extends beyond information dissemination; it has also created new business scenarios and forms in various industries. For instance, in Zhifang village, Henan province, the exquisite wall paintings created by young artist Shang Qinjie attracted attention after being showcased on online audio and video platforms. As a result, the village has become a popular tourist destination, contributing to the prosperity of rural tourism.
Consumer services have also been revolutionized by the online audio and video industry. Platforms like Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok) support offline business scenarios through short videos and livestreaming, enabling merchants of all sizes and from different regions to expand their online presence.
The online audio and video industry presents an opportunity for traditional businesses to adapt and thrive. For example, Yu Bing, a former bookseller who previously ran physical bookstores in Harbin, now utilizes her expertise as a short video creator to recommend books and share her knowledge about the publishing industry. This integration of online and offline channels has given her renewed confidence in the bookstore business and she plans to open a new bookstore this year.
The online audio and video industry has also become increasingly influential in people’s lives and work. The report indicates that 42.7 percent of users made purchases while watching online videos or livestreams in the past six months, representing a significant increase of 27 percentage points compared to 2020.
Li Jun believes that the online audio and video industry is diversifying and expanding into more market segments. The content is no longer limited to entertainment and social interaction but also encompasses news, knowledge sharing, and consumer services. This diversification empowers entrepreneurship, employment, and contributes to the development of the real economy.
While the industry continues to evolve, quality content remains crucial for its sustainable development. Short videos, in particular, have played a vital role in the dissemination of knowledge. According to Douyin’s recent report, the view counts of reading-related videos on the platform increased by 65.17 percent year-on-year in 2022, and the number of reading-related videos added to users’ favorite lists saw a remarkable jump of 276.14 percent. Furthermore, there was a significant increase of 279.44 percent in the posting of reading-related videos longer than five minutes on the short video platform.
The demand for quality content reflects the importance of knowledge dissemination in the online audio and video industry. Short videos have become a powerful medium for sharing educational and informative content, attracting a growing audience interested in expanding their knowledge and learning new things.
This trend presents opportunities for creators, experts, and educators to engage with audiences and provide valuable insights through engaging video content. The surge in reading-related videos demonstrates that people are eager to explore various subjects and engage with educational content in a more visual and interactive format.
The online audio and video industry’s impact extends beyond entertainment and social interaction, as it transforms the way information is consumed, shared, and utilized. It has become a powerful tool for businesses to reach wider audiences, entrepreneurs to launch innovative ventures, and traditional industries to adapt and thrive in the digital era.
As the industry continues to evolve, it is crucial to maintain a focus on delivering high-quality content that informs, educates, and entertains audiences. The combination of engaging formats, diverse content, and seamless integration with other applications has created a dynamic ecosystem that fuels the growth and success of the online audio and video industry.
With the increasing number of internet audio and video users in China and the expanding market size, the industry’s potential for innovation and transformation is vast. As technology advances and user preferences evolve, it is expected that new scenarios and business models will continue to emerge, reshaping the landscape of cultural production, communication, and consumption.