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Short-form video

drives value rise

Online viewing increases during pandemic

For the second consecutive year, entertainment increased in value more than all the other categories analyzed in the BrandZ China Top 100, increasing 221 percent on top of a 186 percent rise.

Time spent online during the COVID-19 lockdown added to the booming popularity of short-form video, which primarily drove the explosive category growth. Advertising revenue of short-form video grew 745 percent year-on- year, according to the latest figures available from the China Netcasting Services Association. Long-form video grew much more modestly.

Two newcomers to the BrandZ™ entertainment ranking— Douyin and Kuaishou—specialize in short-form video social sharing. Both brands have added live streaming e-commerce and gaming. Bilibili, an online site similar to YouTube, also offers e-commerce and gaming along with a broad range of entertainment and educational content. Bilibili rose 50 percent in brand value.

Brand value changed more modestly for the two BrandZ™ entertainment category brands that specialize in long-form video. iQiyi increased 17 percent and Youku remained flat year-on-year. Heavy investment costs and softer advertising revenue impacted their results.

A short video app with over 300 million daily users, Kuaishou specializes in sharing videos, photos, and live streaming. The app enables users to create special effects that do not require having the most technically advanced smartphone. Initially popular with individuals living in China’s smaller cities and rural areas, Kuaishou has aligned its livestreaming e-commerce with JD.com. The Unicorn, backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd., had been considering an IPO to fund expansion and strengthen its competitive position against Douyin, its chief rival.

Douyin shifted into social commerce, enabling its users to direct viewers to shopping sites. The potential is significant for Douyin. With over a billion users, Douyin is popular in China. It is known as TikTok in other major markets, which includes US, Europe, India, Latin America and Southeast Asia.

A spin-off from Baidu Inc., iQiyi is a streaming site often compared with Netflix. To advance its international ambitions, initially in Southeast Asia, iQiyi launched a multilingual international version of its app and recruited several top executives with overseas industry experience. The brand reported having over 105 million subscribers at the end of 2019.

Meanwhile, Bilibili has benefited from the rising interest in

video blogs, known as vlogs. The video platform won exclusive streaming rights to the multiplayer game League of Legends, strengthening its appeal to young e-sports fans. League of Legends, a Tencent game, had been broadcast on Kuaishou. The arrangement is important to Bilibili, whose rising costs had offset strong revenue and user growth. Average monthly active users reached almost 173 million in the first quarter of 2020.