When someone mentions digital content piracy, China is typically part of the conversation. Historically Chinese consumers have not been willing to pay full price – or sometimes any price – for software, music and movies.
Ask Microsoft. Steve Ballmer recently told Chinese Pesident Hu Jintau that 90% of Microsoft software users in China didn’t pay for it.
That’s what makes the latest data from Analysys International notable: Chinese consumers are increasingly paying for premium video content, including Hollywood movies, and online video website ad revenue is growing faster than internet averages.
Tudou Holdings alone has 12 million paying customers, and is paying millions of dollars for rights to Hollywood content.
What’s going on?
Online video companies are able to avoid a lot of the red tape burdening Chinese television and premium cable services, which allows Tudou and others to offer much better content to consumers. And online content is not limited to the living room, giving consumers the “view everywhere” convenience they now want.
While 12 million Chinese consumers represent a pretty small slice of the market pie, it’s already adding up to a lot of money – and growing fast.
Digital content consumption habits are more univeral than traditional media: across the globe, people are willing to pay for the right content in the right place at the right time.