CCTV’s Online Platform Launches UGC Channel
CNTV deal marks significant shift by government-backed online video platforms to support UGC content.
Thoughtful Media Group’s China subsidiary, the country’s leading multichannel network, has launched an online video channel featuring some of its most popular content creators on China Network Television (CNTV), the online video platform of China Central Television (CCTV).
The move exemplifies a significant and positive shift by Chinese governmentbacked online video platforms to embrace user-generated content (UGC) in addition to licensed professional content from domestic and international studios.
Content creators immediately featured in the CNTV arrangement include Bingo (English education), A Qiu Qiu (fashion) and Xiao Mao (skincare), longtime members of Thoughtful’s TMG Originals network of online video content creators. Bingo, one of the most popular English teachers in China, has over 41,000 Weibo fans and 70,000 video fans who have contributed to over 34 million views of his videos to date. A Qiu Qiu, a stylist in Shanghai offering online fashion tips, has 356,000 Weibo fans, 12,000 video fans and over 5 million total views. Xiao Mao, a fashion vlogger and skin care experts, has 423,000 Weibo fans, 21,000 video fans, and over 7 million total views today. Currently, Thoughtful has over 1,000 creators in its network in China attracting over 250 million views per month.
The TMG Originals channel (http://my.xiyou.cntv.cn/41931797/index.html) is located on CNTV Xiyou, CNTV’s user-generated content platform. Xiyou was one of five original CNTV channels launched in December 2009, but CCTV, a conservative state-run broadcaster, has here-to-for been relatively slow to push the development and promotion of UGC content. As a result, Xiyou has received little interest from viewers and content creators in China compared to private online video platforms such as Alibaba’s Youku, Baidu’s iQiyi and Tencent Video. Working with private companies like TMG, CNTV’s first MCN partner, could help to change that.
“The launch of our popular content on CNTV Xiyou suggests that they are getting more serious about user-generated content, presumably to get closer to the predominantly younger audiences with whom our video creators have strong influence,” said Scott Pollack, Thoughtful’s Executive VP and Managing Director, China.
While Google’s YouTube platform is the undisputed king of online video outside China, China’s video market is highly fragmented with several popular players such as Youku-Tudou, iQiyi, Sohu Video, Tencent Video, PPS, Meiya, Bilibili, ACFun, and 56.com, all of which have agreements for TMG Originals content.
The CNTV deal marks Thoughtful’s third Chinese government backed platform partnership following deals with China Mobile (the world’s largest mobile carrier with 800 million users and 88% of China’s 4G subscribers) and BaoMiHua (Popcorn Network, which received venture capital from the Hangzhou government). China Mobile will launch its own video app that will be preinstalled on every smartphone it sells.
“These partnerships indicate both a stamp of approval and a vote of confidence in the kind of content our creators produce,” Mr. Pollack added.
The deal comes shortly after TMG’s China subsidiary received the top award for innovation at Sohu Video’s inaugural Video Creator Festival in Beijing on October 21, 2015. Over one thousand insiders from China’s online video industry convened for the event at Beijing’s 798, a hub for creativity in China’s capital. Sohu’s founder Charles Zhang, Chairman & CEO, personally presented the event’s top honor, which was received by Timothy Kwok, TMG’s Executive VP and General Manager, China.