The popular youth-oriented video streaming platform Bilibili (aka Station B) has been boosting its content-commerce game through a series of key investments and brand-friendly programming innovations.
As Bilibili has expanded from its original niche focus on ACG (Anime, Comic, and Games) content into more general lifestyle offerings such as food, beauty, and fitness, product videos have become increasingly popular, reportedly hitting some 5 billion views from an audience of 90 million over the past year.
Highlighting the brand opportunities on Bilibili, the platform recently published its inaugural “China-Z 100” list, a selection of the top 100 domestic products targeted at consumers under the age of 30. Consumer tech firm Xiaomi, beverage producer Genki Forest, and C-beauty brands Florasis (Hua Xizi) and Mao Geping were among those whose products made the list. This marked the first time that Bilibili has taken an active role in product recommendations, and was accompanied by a livestreamed broadcast introducing the top ten products from the “China-Z 100.”
The platform has been making key investments to boost its content, such as the previously reported 10% stake in the Hong Kong-listed studio Huanxi Media. On the animation front, it was recently reported that Bilibili has increased its investment in YHTK Entertainment, the studio behind its latest hit series, the post-apocalyptic fantasy “Ling Cage: Incarnation” (灵笼), which has drawn 240 million views and 5.9 million followers to its channel.
YHTK is also producing the hotly anticipated animated adaptation of Liu Cixin’s “Three Body Problem” trilogy for Bilibili, and has opened stores on Taobao and Bilibili to sell derivative merchandise such as “Ling Cage” branded t-shirts and headphones. The series has also integrated global brands such as Audi in a lengthy customized segment that aired within a recent episode.
In another move that expands on its original general interest programming, Bilibili will bring back “The Jin Xing Show” (金星秀), which previously aired on Dragon TV for three seasons from 2015 to 2017, under a new title. Hosted by the transgender dancer and choreographer Jin Xing, the culturally oriented series will focus on generational differences between guests, a popular topic among Bilibili audiences.
Further investments include the acquisition of animation-related collectibles firm ACToys and taking a stake in mobile video-editing startup Versa, hinting at Bilibili’s potential expansion into new areas that will continue to hold appeal for the platform’s core Gen Z user base.