Bilibili is the largest pop culture and entertainment community for the younger generation, with 72 million daily active users (86% of which are under 35). In other words, one in two people in China is on Bilibili.
Last year, 3,000 sponsored videos posted on Bilibili made it onto the list of most searched content in China, covering 1,000 brands from 27 different countries. The scope of Bilibili is such as to influence the performance of listed securities. One example, a 40-second video about Bilibili increased a company’s market value by RMB 550 million ($ 86.3 million).
But what is Bilibili?
Bilibili, often called Chinese YouTube, also known as “B station” is a video sharing platform and is becoming the golden key to winning the hearts of Chinese youth.
Created in 2009, it was born as an ACG (Animation, Comic, and Game) content community with over 70% of the content focused on animation, games and music. A distinctive feature of Bilbili are “bulleted comments” – single-line comments that float directly above the video. They can be commentary in real time or left by previous viewers anchored to specific moments in a video, but they all fly across the screen simultaneously, silently screaming for attention. Today, each user spends an average of 88 minutes a day on the site. This means that the platform is able to grab attention longer than most platforms – thus allowing brands to attract more attention.
Much more than the YouTube equivalent in China
As we said Bilibili was born as a video platform for ACG (Animation, Comic, and Game) but immediately the young contributors started to explore other areas, in particular in technology, lifestyle, TV series and movies. Today the platform covers over 7,000 areas of interest, including food, health and wellness, daily routines, animal protection… hundreds of thousands of young people gather to talk about a variety of topics. This diversity of topics allows companies from a multitude of different markets to speak to interested audiences and make their advertising more effective.
The peculiarities of Bilibili do not stop there, it is in fact much more than a simple video content platform. Bilibili is also a streaming platform for movies, and live streaming – also aimed at e-commerce sales – and soon a Bilibili shopping and leisure center will be opened in Shanghai.
Bilibili aspires to become the “bank of brands”
Among the functions available on Bilibili, advertising spread rather late. The company was unsure of users’ tastes in terms of advertising, as a result, only 6.4% of its overall revenue came from advertising in 2017 (i.e. RMB 160 million or $ 25.1 million). This number began to skyrocket as the video giant made its way into the younger generation market, approaching $ 3 billion in the first three quarters of 2021 alone.
Why is advertising on BiliBili so effective? Advertisements on Bilibili are user-created videos with simple humor and a personal touch.
Advertising is usually something people avoid when viewing content online. Bilibili is trying – successfully – to change the perception of advertising in China.
On this platform, advertisements are often so creative that they become something viewers look forward to. This shift in perception is the driving force behind the success of ads on Bilibili, with consumers willing to listen rather than ignore, allowing the advertising market to expand at an incredible rate.
The success of these promotional techniques is so high that the platform has been called a “bank for brands”, meaning it acts as a bank that generates long-term interest for companies. In what sense? The top 100 sponsored advertising videos last year continue to grow in views and the search volume to the brands that posted them has tripled.
So what do you think? Would you consider making your adv enjoyable and thus increase brand exposure through this platform addressing the youngest?