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In China, Social, Mobile to Compete for Olympics Viewers

Mobile devices encourage shift away from linear TV

June 22, 2016 | Video

With the global spectacle of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games looming on many media plans this summer, there’s increasing interest from advertisers in understanding how consumers will be watching. This is particularly true for China, where traditional linear television broadcasts compete for viewers’ attention on mobile, as well as social platforms.

Devices on Which Mobile Internet Users in China Plan to Watch the Summer Olympics via Video-on-Demand, April 2016 (% of respondents)

Research from AdMaster, a data insights firm in China, provide a detailed look at what devices mobile users plan to use to watch the Olympics. While many users in China will continue to watch the games via linear TV, many are also planning to watch “rebroadcasts” or on-demand video of the events using mobile devices and desktop PCs. According to the survey, while 63% plan to watch the rebroadcast via traditional linear TV, another 54% plan to watch the games on their mobile phone or tablet, suggesting the importance of mobile devices for this year’s viewing experience.

Though watching video on mobile devices is nothing new, the proportion of viewers in China who plan watch such a high-profile event does mark an important shift, with important implications for advertisers and TV networks alike. According to eMarketer’s own forecasts, China will have more than 394 million mobile video viewers in 2016, representing 41% of all mobile phone users.

Social Media Sites/Apps that Mobile Internet Users in China Plan to Use to Discuss the Summer Olympics, April 2016 (% of respondents)

Mobile devices will also play an important role in where consumers in China congregate online to discuss the Olympics. According to AdMaster, mobile focused messaging platform WeChat will be the most popular social media tool for mobile internet users in China, with 70% mentioning they planned to use it to discuss the Rio Olympics. Mobile messaging platform QQ came in second, with 51% of respondents mentioning the service.

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