NEWSROOM eMarketer's latest news, announcements, and media resources.

Tencent Video Leads OTT Market in China

BAT-owned platforms invest in content as usage continues to surge

London, 24 July 2018: Tencent Video is the leader in China’s subscription over-the-top (OTT) video market, and eMarketer expects the company will maintain its edge over rivals iQiyi and Youku over the coming years.

eMarketer has amended its market share estimates for Tencent Video, iQiyi and Youku since our last forecast as these key players have responded to China’s explosive growth in OTT usage. eMarketer expects 24.0% of digital video viewers in China will subscribe to Tencent Video in 2018, and that figure will surpass 29% by 2020.


Investing in content has been a key theme for all of the platforms owned by the so-called BAT companies (Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent). Alibaba-owned Youku is expected to post the highest increase in content spending in 2018 and has also secured rights to stream this year’s FIFA World Cup. As a result, we expect Youku’s subscriber base will grow by 55.0% this year and overtake iQiyi for second place in terms of digital viewer share by the end of 2019.

“As the race to gain a larger slice of viewer screen time heats up, all three major streaming players in China have invested billions to develop their own original programs and secure rights to exclusive content,” eMarketer forecasting director Shelleen Shum said. “Competition in China’s growing OTT market, fueled by growing internet connectivity and a broader shift toward internet entertainment, is cutthroat. As subscriber churn rates are high, content remains a critical part to improve user stickiness.”

In 2018, close to 229 million people in China will watch video via a subscription streaming service that bypasses traditional distribution. By 2022, more than a quarter of the population will use an OTT service.


eMarketer’s forecasts and estimates are based on an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms and public companies, plus interviews with top executives at publishers, ad buyers and agencies. Data is weighted based on methodology and soundness. Each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of available data means the forecasts reflect the latest business developments, technology trends and economic changes.

About eMarketer

Founded in 1996, eMarketer is the first place to look for research about marketing in a digital world. eMarketer enables thousands of companies worldwide to understand marketing trends, consumer behavior and get the data needed to succeed in the competitive and fast-changing digital economy.eMarketer’s flagship product, eMarketer PRO, is home to all of eMarketer’s research including; forecasts, analyst reports, aggregated data from 3,000+ sources, interviews with industry leaders, articles, charts and comparative market data. eMarketer’s free daily newsletters span the US, EMEA and APAC and are read by more than 200,000 readers globally. In 2016 eMarketer, Inc. was acquired by European media giant Axel Springer S.E.


For more information, contact:

Sheelagh Doyle
Senior PR Director, EMEA/APAC
+44 (0) 203 289 6954

Posted on July 24, 2018.