Short video is the real winner as China’s World Cup viewers reach new heights
Streaming giants are cashing in on booming demand
China is a big fan of the World Cup -- with more than 4.3 billion individual views of Russia 2018 matches on just one streaming platform.
That figure -- announced on microblogging site Weibo by Migu Video, a subsidiary of state-owned telecommunication company China Mobile -- included 200 million views of the final between France of Croatia.
The other official streaming platform -- Youku -- announced that more than 180 million viewers had watched on its platform, with 24 million watching the final. The company didn’t break the figures down by individual views.
(Youku is owned by Alibaba. Abacus is a unit of the South China Morning Post, which is also owned by Alibaba.)
But the real winner might not even be an official partner.
Tencent Sports -- an arm of the tech giant Tencent -- piggybacked off the event’s popularity and scored its own goal: 6.7 billion views of its World Cup-related short videos, reaching 770 million users.
And even though streaming and short-form video broke new records, plenty of viewers still tuned into the traditional broadcast on CCTV-5 -- the dedicated sports channel of state-run network CCTV.
56 million people -- the same number of people in all of South Africa -- watched the final, the highest audience for a sporting event since Beijing hosted the Olympics in 2008.