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Video streaming is in our everyday life, whether it’s on your smart tv or on your tablet, it’s easily accessible and to stream anywhere you want. Typical entertainment streaming platforms such as Netflix, Stan, Prime Video and now Disney plus are amongst the most popular streaming services for movies and TV Shows, this includes YouTube and Vimeo and many others. Streaming services in Mainland China are vastly different, due to the restriction on YouTube, Netflix and other platforms, China have it’s own streaming platforms; Youku, iQIYI and Tencent Video.

YouKu has been the main video hosting services in China for quite some time since YouKu’s merge with Tudou, the second largest video host back in 2012. YouKu holds 27% of market share in Chinese video streaming platform category, with iQIYI holding 43%. The number of internet users in China in 2020 is 875 million, largest online community in the world. Given such enormous reach and high degree of video consumer engagement, advertising on YouKu could be highly effective to reach your Chinese customers.

Advertising on YouKu is significantly different from YouTube, it’s more about brand focused advertising rather than direct marketing. Although some targeted advertising is available with YouKu, but options are quite limited. As opposed to YouTube, the platform seems to unable target specific users based on their preferences or browsing history. YouKu focuses on blanket advertising by pursuing the largest possible audience, similar to traditional media advertising such as TV, radio or Newspapers. Reaching the wider audience and engaging with the general audience does come with some disadvantage with youku, this means companies that are looking to focus a specific audience won’t be able to do so on YouKu.

Multitude of ad options

Ads on Youku displays various shapes and forms: From videos to banners which can be both static and animated, as well as text links and buttons. The most popular form of advertising are pre-roll, pause banner and opening page advertising, these are the typical form of advertising on Youku. Pre-Roll appears when a user clicks on the video content they wish to watch and before the video plays there is a pre-roll of advertising, the length of advertising can be 5 seconds, 15 seconds or 30 seconds. A Pause banner is a form of advertising that appears when the user pauses video content, and this static banner will appear, once resume the video it goes away. Lastly, opening page advertising is more to do with mobile device, it appears when the user opens the YouKu app, duration is either 3 or 5 seconds, opening page on YouKu is 100% viewable, users sees this every time when they open the app.

If companies are wanting to advertise to the Chinese audience and to target the Chinese consumers, then YouKu can help you to deliver this. YouKu and iQIYI are the go to for the Chinese people, they are loyal to these products, for instance they will continue to use them even though they are travelling overseas or abroad and are able to access YouTube or Netflix.

In conclusion, advertising on YouKu is effective to reach the larger audience and to build the brand relationship with the audience. It’s not so effective if companies wishes to specifically target consumer behaviour and preferences. There are various forms of advertising on YouKu and each can be used to its advantage, through video, static image or animated banners.