iQiyi continues membership growth despite challenges
Chinese on-demand video streaming platform iQiyi Inc reported a 15 percent year-on-year increase in revenue in the second quarter of 2019, continuing to see strong growth in its paid membership.
Unaudited results show the company's second-quarter revenue reached 7.1 billion yuan ($1 billion). The report also noted iQiyi's net loss expanded to 2.3 billion yuan from 2.1 billion during the same period in 2018.
Membership services mainly drove the company's revenue. The company attributed this to its premium content — especially original programming — as well as various operational initiatives during the quarter.
For the second quarter, iQiyi's membership revenue grew 38 percent year-over-year to 3.4 billion yuan, in line with the 50 percent growth it posted as its member rolls jumped to 100.5 million from 67.1 million during the same period last year. Among overall subscribers, 98.9 percent are paid.
"We achieved continued revenue growth in the second quarter despite some recent challenges facing our industry," said Wang Xiaodong, chief financial officer of iQiyi. "Our membership business generated solid growth, with subscription revenues increasing 38 percent year-over-year, driven by our strong content slate during the quarter. As our IP-centered diversification strategy grows to scale, we are constantly expanding the scope of our value-added services and pursuing better monetization. We believe our long-term growth landscape remains intact, and we will continue to invest in our original content and technology which serve as the dual engines to drive future growth."
Online advertising service revenue was 2.2 billion yuan in the second quarter, down 16 percent year-on-year mainly due to the challenging macroeconomic environment in China, content launch delays and slower-than-expected recovery of its in-feed advertising, the company explained.
Due to delays during the quarter, iQiyi's content distribution revenue decreased 4 percent year-on-year to 517.9 million yuan in the second quarter.
Other revenues jumped 82 percent to hit 979.2 million yuan. The company said the increase was driven by strong performance across various vertical business lines, especially robust growth of its game business after the acquisition of Skymoons.
The company reports its net revenue will increase to over 7.21 billion yuan in the third quarter of the year, saying the prediction is subject to "substantial uncertainty".
According to internet services provider QuestMobile, iQiyi topped all other online streaming apps with 538 million monthly active users, closely followed by Tencent Video.