BEIJING, March 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- China's online video market has maintained a compound annual growth rate of 74 per cent in the past three years. Analysts predict that the market growth rate may reach over 100 percent in the following two years.
According to the user experience list of China's websites performance (Jan. 1, 2011-Jan. 31, 2011) released by Gomez, a division of Compuware Corporation, 56.com ranks the first and leads other rivals across the country by a large margin. The user experience list is compiled based on three major metrics, namely response time, availability and stability. (Data source: http://www.gomez.cn/gomez%e4%b8%ad%e5%9b%bd%e7%bd%91%e7%ab%99%e7%94%a8%e6%88%b7%e4%bd%93%e9%aa%8c%e6%8e%92%e8%a1%8c2011%e5%b9%b41%e6%9c%88/ )
At the same time, some research institutions began to rank China's video websites. According to the list of 1000 most-visited sites worldwide for January 2011 issued by Doubleclick Ad Planner, the data research division of Google, YouTube ranks second only to Facebook with a reach rate of 32.2 percent, while China's top three video websites Youku.com, Tudou.com and 56.com ranked 14th, 21st and 34th respectively.
(Data source: http://www.google.com/adplanner/static/top1000/ )
Which website is the real "China's YouTube"?
China's video websites, including Youku.com, Tudou.com and 56.com, copied the operation model of YouTube to some extent at the beginning. But some of them, represented by Youku.com, Tudou.com and 56.com, started to transform after 2008 when the capital market began to be optimistic about Hulu's model that depends on online advertisement to gain profit. They are similar to both YouTube and Hulu now. Reportedly, Youku and Tudou are aggressively getting closer to Hulu.
However, 56.com is busy seeking a users' value-added service road, having insisted on a video sharing idea for several years since its establishment in 2005. Mrs. Zhou Juan (Kitty Zhou), founder of 56.com, worked at China's leading Internet company NetEase.com, where under her leadership, the product team of NetEase.com successfully developed China's earliest internet products with tens of millions of users, including NetEase mailbox and NetEase photo album.
Zhou indicated that the current operation model of 56.com is more similar to a combination of models of YouTube and NicoNico, a Japanese video website established in 2006 and YouTube's biggest rival in Japan with advertisement revenue and paid members as its profit makers. In contrast with Youku.com and Tudou.com, 56.com seems more patient for listing. Zhou mentioned in early this year that, "We plan to list after we make profits." She added that the company is now making ends meet and expects to list within two years.
Industry analysts believe that 56.com is likely to seek pre-IPO financing for its listing. Zhou remarked, "We need more talents to help develop 56.com into a leading Internet company."
Entertainment-oriented video websites have more potential
Today, China already has a developed sense of entertainment, deservedly, video websites are becoming an important venue for access to entertainment content. Among China's top 3 video websites, 56.com is the most striking for its attribute of entertainment. Based on entertainment-oriented content launched several years ago, 56.com introduced its "All-embracing Entertainment" strategy in late 2010 in an effort to provide users with an online platform for amusement, sharing and interaction.
56.com ranks first among Chinese video websites with agreements with over 80 per cent of Chinese satellite TV stations. In addition, the company has also created many civilian idols, many of whom become stars in domestic reality shows, counterparts of American Idol.
China's video industry is embracing unprecedented opportunities for development as the adoption of the video advertisement model by advertisers, who wish to bring influence to young audiences, including post-80s and post-90s, continues to grow. To leverage these opportunities, video websites should not ignore their essential attribute of entertainment.
In fact, any Chinese video website with a desire to succeed, cannot simply copy the models of successful websites, including YouTube and Hulu. We have reasons to look forward to the success of entertainment-oriented 56.com.