On May 19, China’s entertainment powerhouse and video-sharing website, Bilibili, announced its 2020 first-quarter financial results, closing March 31. The site’s number of monthly active users (MAU) hit 172 million, which is an outstanding 70-percent increase year-on-year. Meanwhile, Bilibili’s total net revenue reached $327 million — a 69-percent growth over the same period last year that vastly exceeded market expectations.
As the results were released, Bilibili’s stock price reached a new high of $33.66 per share as of May 18, which is an 80.77-percent rise since January. The company’s total market cap is nearly $11.6 billion.
Due to the nationwide lockdowns amid the COVID-19 pandemic from late January to March, users spent more time on their screens with games, videos, and livestreams. Because of this, Bilibili drew a considerable amount of new users and added paying users. More importantly, the company further diversified its business strategies, reporting even revenues from its mobile game and non-gaming segments. Original documentaries, TV shows, and online brand launch events are some of the new growth engines introduced by the platform.
In addition to this diversifying strategy, Bilibili’s strong performance was motivated by content and user engagement. The number of content creators with over 10,000 followers increased by 82 percent, while average monthly interactions skyrocketed by 260 percent year-on-year.
Bilibili is no longer just a niche platform for anime, comics, and games. It now presents a wide range of fields, including fashion, lifestyle, beauty, music, and technology. The company wants to elevate its capacity to monetize through advertising, and the site’s surge of content creators (often KOLs in their respective areas of expertise) can help brands connect with Gen-Z consumers. Therefore, Bilibili seems to present a unique and lucrative opportunity for most brands, including fashion and beauty players.
However, it will be a challenge for Bilibili to maintain its excellent user stickiness or its inclusive community culture, after releasing its “The Next Wave: Bilibili’s speech for the next generation” commercial amid accusations of catering to the mainstream. Predictably, more players are showing interest in tapping into this platform, but are Bilibili’s users already moving on to the next trend?
The Jing Take reports on a leading piece of news while presenting our editorial team’s analysis of its key implications for the luxury industry. In this recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debates that sprout up on Chinese social media.