Video is driving online advertising in China suggests data. Source: Shutterstock

Video is driving online advertising in China suggests data. Source: Shutterstock

Data shows short videos are very attractive to online advertisers in China

DOUYIN, the Chinese version of TikTok, along with other (short) video platforms have become very attractive to online advertisers.

Data acquired by the South China Morning Post from the Interactive Marketing Laboratory in Zhongguancun shows that video apps, sites, and platforms captured 12.5 percent of the online advertising spend in 2019, just behind search engine sites which took 14.9 percent and e-commerce platforms who drew in 35.9 percent of the spend.

To make things more clear, the data reveals that online advertising revenue of video platforms have grown by 43 percent in the past year. Compared to the average annual growth of 18 percent across platforms, it is clear that there’s a growing preference for video sites, apps, and platforms.

What’s more interesting is that online advertisers seem to have chosen to comparatively reduce spends on news sites, causing the category to drop one place to the fourth spot, with only 11.8 percent of the overall pie.

Obviously, the popularity of these short video platforms is soaring in Chinese and foreign markets.

TikTok and Douyin together now boast of 740 million downloads. That figure pushed Facebook and (Facebook) Messenger down a spot to make the Chinese short video platform the world’s second most downloaded app.

Douyin also claims that number of its daily active users has grown from 250 million last year to 400 million. That’s a 60 percent jump — an unimaginable feat for many competitors, inside the country as well as outside.

Inside China, Douyin and other short video platforms are expected to continue on the growth trajectory, at least for the foreseeable future.

In foreign markets, however, strong competition from established social media players is expected.

“Short video has been popularised by TikTok for sure, but bigger social networking platforms like Facebook and Instagram are aware of it and are doing something about it,” Forrester Analyst Meenakshi Tiwari said recently.

Other experts, however, believe that if existing platforms such as Facebook and Instagram really want to compete, they’ll need to work on better supporting advertisers as well as content creators.

Douyin, for example, takes a commission of at least 5 percent for advertisements produced through its official channel linking influencers and advertisers. That works out well since content creators are able to charge between CNY50,000 (US$7,000) to CNY100,000 (US$14,000) for each video ad.

In overseas markets, however, there seems to be a missing link between advertisers and content creators. Unless existing social media platforms act quickly, Douyin’s TikTok is likely to fill in the gap and cement its position as an unbeatable market leader in the short video space.

Either way, for advertisers, video seems to be getting more interesting every day, as a format as well as a platform.