Jenny Chan 陳詠欣
Aug 15, 2016

OTT in China: Viewership grows more quickly than expected

An abundance of choice and on-demand functions are pushing over-the-top (OTT) content from niche to mass-market status in China.

OTT in China: Viewership grows more quickly than expected

CHINA - Amplifi’s latest whitepaper on over-the-top content in China, jointly produced with iQiyi, LeTV, MangoTV, Tencent, Youku and iPinyou as well as research partners Miaozhen and Nielsen, revealed that Chinese consumers are more familiar with OTT TV than the industry had thought.

Meg Chen (陈良怡), executive vice president of digital development at Dentsu Aegis Network China and head of global media partnerships at Amplifi China, said the experience of using smartphones has helped Chinese consumers transition to OTT apps, proven by these statistics:

  • 87 percent of traditional TV users know how to use OTT devices
  • Nearly 80 percent are clear and certain about what they want to watch, by directly searching the name of the program on OTT apps
  • 75 percent of OTT TV users choose it because of its abundant content resources
  • 32 percent plan to purchase OTT devices in the coming year
  • 21 percent are willing to pay for OTT TV content

“OTT content has gone beyond just appearing on the traditional television screen," said Chen, also the project leader of the whitepaper, adding that OTT services come with more interactive functions for consumers, such as on-demand e-commerce.

According to estimates, 95 out of 100 TV sets sold in China will be OTT-enabled at the end of 2016, exceeding 10 million TVs.

Among the massive TV audience of 1.3 billion in China, the percentage of people watching through OTT devices has increased from 13 percent in 2013 to 30 percent in 2015, and will reach an estimated 49 percent by 2017.

"Just like the smartphone’s development, people will not go back to the traditional one-way viewership model once they get used to the way of watching TV over the internet," stated Chen.

Also, Chinese consumers are "far smarter than we expected". In fact, they are nicknamed “smart couch potatoes” as they will try every means to get the content they want on OTT. 

And marketers: OTT viewers also pay more attention to ads and remember them better.

 

As China's OTT industry is made up of a long chain of content providers, license owners (both content and broadcasting), network operators and hardware manufacturers, content has to get through the whole chain to reach end users, and marketers have to do the same.

Apart from providing advertisers with more ad channels, the strongest suit of OTT content is its delivery of tailor-made communication and interaction with individual viewers. 

Thus, a few further questions for marketers emerge from the whitepaper:
  • How can OTT ads be tracked? How effective are OTT ads for media ROI and brand KPIs? How should brands structure the media buying portfolio to incorporate OTT?
  • "The 'one-more screen' media mix and reach could optimise ad results," according to a preliminary solution offered by Chen.
  • Programmatic-buying algorithms based on household impressions will have to move to individual impressions for more accurate analysis of target audiences, she added.

 

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