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Media industry in China - statistics & facts

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 to 19 percent, down from 52 percent in 2010. In comparison to newspapers, the magazine market has shown a better performance with a rising number of publications in the previous decade. Its daily reach resided at around 29 percent. As more Chinese consumers spend more time on their smartphones, many print media companies have 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 reduce the importance of television in the advertising market, especially when it comes to the food and beverage brand promotion. After all, it is a channel to reach over 200 million audiences. On the other side, the demand for radio broadcast services stays, which could be reflected by the gradual increase in radio industry revenue. Despite the fact that advertisers are investing more on the new marketing medium, the combined revenue of radio and television networks has been rising, reaching about 921 billion yuan.

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.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 26 most important statistics relating to "Media industry in China".


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