Transparency the key for Online Video in China

Hong Kong : Trust and transparency while building strong partnerships with content providers, advertisers and end users are the keys to the development of China’s online video market, according to speakers at the CASBAA Online Video in China forum on 2 March 2011 in Beijing.

Keynote speaker Johannes Larcher, SVP International, Hulu, said the US-based online platform focuses on three key points – monetization of content, secure distribution and shared risk. Larcher added that Hulu has more than 250 content partners and 600 advertising partners.

With over 100 delegates and speakers in attendance, the forum provided a platform for industry leaders to discuss in depth the issues associated with the growing popularity of consuming video over the Internet in China.

“Since China is one of the biggest and fastest growing markets in Asia, and indeed the world, it makes sense to keep focusing our attention on developments that will affect the broadcasting industry there,” said Marcel Fenez, Chairman of CASBAA. “While traditional television reigns supreme, a projected 300 million Chinese viewers watching video online by the end of 2011 means that it is vitally important to identify the opportunities and hurdles that will affect business development in the future.”

With ongoing advancements in technology, online video is the natural progression of any linear broadcasting model with major stakeholders advocating a TV everywhere approach. However, monetisation is a key challenge for online video as hard data on audience measurement to attract advertisers to this medium is difficult to source commented several of the speakers at the CASBAA event.

And, while broadcasters are increasingly turning to multi-platform methods of content delivery, infrastructure in terms of bandwidth speed is another concern raised. While this situation is improving, there is still uncertainty as to what sort of collaboration, if any, there will be with telcos in the future.

Also, copyright issues and the market itself are not ‘standardized’, where some on-line video services are using licensed content while others are not.

However, according to CMM-I Managing Director Anke Redl, “Chinese online video sites are becoming increasingly sophisticated in terms of how they acquire both international and domestic licensed programs, as well as commission relevant content themselves.”

These topics and more were debated by some of the most influential speakers and panelists dealing with the China market. In attendance at the forum were the likes of Ian Chin (Bestv), Chen Zu (Tudou.com), Sarah Zhang (Baidu Qiyi), Scarlett Li (Zebra Media), Huang Xinquan (China Radio International Mobile TV), Cui Bin (China Vision Media Group) and many others.

“As broadcasters evolve their business strategies to take advantage of new platforms to complement traditional television models, CASBAA will continue to develop events such as Online Video in China in order to bring some much needed focus in this vast market,” added Fenez.

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