Can Bilibili Keep Winning the Online Video Arena?

The Chinese entertainment powerhouse and video-sharing platform Bilibili released its 2020 second-quarter earnings results on August 26. The group reported total net revenues of $377 million (2.6 billion RMB), which was a 70-percent increase compared to the same period in 2019, and its number of monthly paying users (MPU) grew to 12.9 million — a 105-percent increase year-on-year.

After implementing a diversifying strategy, Bilibili recorded remarkable revenue increases with its value-added services (VAS) and advertising, achieving a growth of 153 percent and 108 percent year-on-year, respectively. Its VAS growth came predominantly from enhanced monetization capabilities like premium membership programs and livestreaming service, and its ad growth came directly from greater recognition, which, in turn, was driven by organic user growth.

The chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Bilibili, Rui Chen, reaffirmed that user growth was its focus, and the company has been efficiently executing strategies to achieve this goal.  “After our stellar first quarter, we continued to strengthen our growth momentum and invested in broadening recognition of the Bilibili brand name,” he said. “Our confidence in this strategy is built on our self-fulfilling ecosystem. We believe the content pool we offer is deep and diverse enough to host a much wider user base, and our friendly and vibrant community can retain those newcomers.”

As Mr. Chen pointed out in the earnings call, videos have become the most popular media for content creators. This content product trend also accelerated long-form video consumption and stirred up the battle for the online video space. As market players like Red eye this medium-to-long-form video trend, user retention rate will become a primary concern over the second half of 2020 (though executives remain confident in the medium). However, Bilibili still owns its unique position among Gen-Z users and has only further solidified its hold on that community culture and user base.

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