It was not until the late 1980s during a time of extensive economic reform that the media industry in China was opened up to private investment. Since then, considerable momentum in market growth has developed and continued. Like other more developed economies, traditional media is declining in the Chinese market, while social media is thriving.
The Chinese market for entertainment and media is massive and will continue to grow, driven by various flourishing sectors, especially over-the-top (OTT) videos, online advertising, and gaming.
Print media: decline and transformation
The newspaper industry has seen a moderate decrease over the past years. The number of newspaper publications was steadily falling each year. The average newspaper reach in China retracted from 52 percent in 2010 to below 20 percent in 2020. In comparison to newspapers, the magazine market has shown a better performance with a rising number of publications in the recent decade and its daily reach resided at around 20 percent. When it comes to reading books, the popularity of printed editions stays while digital books have gained more traction. As more Chinese consumers spend more time on their smartphones, many print media companies have also shifted to social media arena, publishing content on the likes of WeChat, Weibo, and Douyin (the original Chinese version of TikTok).
The power of broadcast media remains
Television secured its leadership with the highest penetration rate among traditional medium in China. Although internet ad revenue has surged swiftly, it is still hard to replace television in advertising and marketing, especially for food and beverage brand promotion. After all, it is a channel to reach to over 200 million audience. On the other side, traditional radio programs have a group of loyal listeners with a gradual increase in radio industry revenues. Despite the fact that advertisers are investing more on the new marketing medium, the combined revenue of radio and television networks has been rising, exceeding 1.2 trillion yuan in 2022.
It is all about mobile and social media
China is a mobile-centric nation, and its social media world is growing vigorously. Apart from a huge userbase - half of the Chinese population are using social networking sites, the internet and social media engagement among Chinese consumers is also high. Influencer marketing has become the new marketing trend and has proved to be effective in affecting consumption decisions. Considering all these factors, it comes as no surprise that social media ad revenue would maintain double-digit growth in the next few years. Internet behemoths like Alibaba, ByteDance, Baidu, and Tencent would continue to be benefited from this market trend.
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