Anime site Bilibili’s non-gaming businesses surged ahead in Q1 2019

By Bailey Hu
1 min read

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First quarter results are in for video and gaming platform Bilibili: while the company reported RMB 150 million in losses, it outperformed analyst expectations and saw gains in revenue from its live-streaming business and new e-commerce platform. Along with a new monthly active user (MAU) high of 101 million, revenue also reached RMB 137 billion, an increase of 58% from the same period last year.

The site has long held a special place in China’s entertainment ecosystem, appealing to a younger audience with cartoon- and anime-focused content. Much of that content is also user-generated; Bilibili estimates that in the first quarter, 89% of video traffic was due to “professional user-generated video.” Some 88.6 million of its MAU access the platforms from their phones, showing a marked preference for mobile.

The number of monthly paying users grew to 5.7 million, rising 29.5% sequentially. According to company chairman and CEO Chen Rui, daily active users surpassed 30 million for the first time. In addition, daily average time spent on the platform skyrocketed to 81 minutes from just five last year.

After sliding for three consecutive quarters, Bilibili’s gaming revenue grew to RMB 870 million in the first quarter, a 27% year-on-year increase. The growth hints at a recovery following a period of regulatory crackdowns for China’s gaming industry. Meanwhile, income from the platform’s live-streaming and value-added services surged 202% compared with the same period last year, although it still only totaled a third of gaming revenue.

Following a February announcement that Alibaba would acquire 8% of Bilibili’s stock, the company reported that a members-only e-commerce platform raked in RMB 96 million in Q1, posting growth of more than 600% compared with the same period a year earlier.