SHANGHAI, June 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- iQIYI, China's largest internet and mobile video service provider, announces today that the number of paid subscribers to its streaming service has surpassed 20 million as of June 1, 2016, indicating a significant trend in China that more people are willing to pay for good content.
The milestone has come just six months after iQIYI reported its paid subscribers reached 10 million by December 1, 2015, up from five million at the end of May 31, 2015.
iQIYI announced the news to media and its global partners including Paramount Pictures, 21th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Media Asia and Showbox in a news conference in Shanghai during the Shanghai International Film Festival.
"Reaching 20 million in paid subscription indicates the strong demand among Chinese online viewers for paid video services and this market has just taken off," said Yu Gong, founder and CEO of iQIYI.
"iQIYI is actively expanding into the market to cover subscribers of all ages. We hope each family with an iQIYI VIP account can get personalized content and services that best suit their needs."
At the press conference, the company announced that the "iQIYI Cartoon Home", a separate app it developed to target children, will become part of the new benefits for its paid subscribers who would be able to enjoy the cartoon content for free.
On top of revenues from advertisement sales, iQIYI has been exploring the potentials in paid subscription since 2011. Over the past five years, the Company has focused on paid subscribers' evolving demands for streaming services of popular films, documentaries, dramas to that of recorded concerts and live webcam shows. The Company also offers various incentives to encourage its VIP members to use its film ticket sales, e-commerce and social media services on iQIYI's platform.
iQIYI is currently a leader in China's paid streaming market. According to App Annie's report in 2015, the Company was ranked top in terms of revenue among all non-game apps in China.
Since July last year, iQIYI has launched a premium service to allow paid subscribers to get earlier or exclusive access to 29 blockbuster shows, which include self-produced drama, The Lost Tomb, and hugely popular Korean TV show, Descendants of the Sun. The shows have been viewed 18.7 billion times in total during the past year.
"The well-received blockbuster shows have helped iQIYI generate a lot of interests in our paid services, drawing large number of subscribers who are willing to pay for good contents," said Xianghua Yang, senior vice president of iQIYI. "But in an industry in which good contents are never in short supply, a platform ought to have an all-round strength so that its products could be hotly pursued."
Statistics from iResearch show that 295 million people have gained access to iQIYI via its mobile app by the end of April and 360 million people use iQIYI via personal computers, which makes the Company the top player in the industry on both fronts.
"Indeed, behind each popular show streamed on iQIYI are our largest number of viewers, reliable technology and effective promotion which consistently match our subscribers with video contents they need," said Yang.
iQIYI believes growth in the paid video streaming service will keep accelerating in the coming years as the Company has experienced over the past year.
In future, iQIYI said it would continue sourcing premium shows worldwide by working closely with global content providers. Meanwhile, it will also beef up the presence in children's market with its product iQIYI Cartoon Home, which features popular cartoon shows from Disney, DreamWorks Animation and BBC. This app catering to teens have already drawn nearly three million active viewers per month.
Founded in April 2010, iQIYI is one of the largest Internet and mobile video service providers in China. An independently operated subsidiary of Baidu, the world's largest Chinese search engine, iQIYI is focused on providing Chinese users with the best possible online video experience, and has become an industry leader in developing innovative products and technologies.
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