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Lacklustre Ad Channel Content & Desire for Choice and Exclusivity Driving Multiple Digital Service Adoption in China

Chinese Consumer Survey Analysis and Commentary

27 Nov 2017 - Futuresource Consulting has released its second wave of its 'Living with Digital China' report, a consumer survey focused on this technology savvy and entertainment hungry nation. It maps out the key trends in digital entertainment behaviour, including connected device usage and digital service adoption, together with content and genre preferences, amongst other areas. 

This latest market insight from the Futuresource Digital Media and Entertainment team points out that VIP membership subscriptions to the leading online video services are continuing to build in momentum, with most subscribers taking at least two services at once. Ad-free viewing remains as the leading motivator for service uptake, with choice and exclusivity also being a key consumer driver for multiple service subscriptions.

"With no obvious primary viewing device, the variety of devices used to watch online video services is very fragmented. Smartphones, Smart TVs and viewing directly on a PC/Laptop are in particular being used by online video viewers, says David Sidebottom, Principal Analyst at Futuresource Consulting.

However, linear TV viewing remains the most frequently watched video type, with over three-quarters of respondents preferring to view in this way. Moreover, uptake of Pay-TV channels (on top of basic tier channels) stands at one-third of subscribers. As seems to be the case in other regions, sports and or movies plays a big role in uptake, with 85% of Pay-TV paying for at least one of these channels. However, cord-cutting continues increasing to 28% of all Pay-TV subscribers, who say they have cancelled in the last year.

In terms of content, "Viewing movies is a key driver for Chinese consumers wanting to pay beyond basic TV channels, as opposed to Western countries, where the key reasons for continuing to take Pay-TV services are related to ease of use," adds Sidebottom.

Comedy is the favoured choice amongst respondents, with two out of the top three genres being Chinese comedy movies and TV shows. However, international content has increased in popularity, with over half saying they watch US/International content at least once a week.

Away from the home, Chinese consumer's appetite for movie content is highlighted through the strong cinema going behaviour. Although, fewer 16-25 year olds have been to the cinema in the last year than previously reported.

The report also focusses on the following areas; connected device uptake and usage, video entertainment behaviour and content preferences, premium video service uptake and also includes questions on VR, gaming and 4K UHD areas. The report complements Futuresource's ongoing Living with Digital consumer research programme carried out in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia, Canada, USA and Japan.


Futuresource Consulting is a specialist research and knowledge-based consulting company, providing organisations with insight into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, storage media, education technology and IT. With a heritage stretching back to the 1980s, the company delivers in-depth analysis and forecasts on a global scale, advising on strategic positioning, market trends, competitive forces and technological developments. 

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