China's Online Video Services: Viable Medium or Laboratory?

David Wolf

There is a blaze of excitement around China’s online video industry that makes YouTube and Hulu look like pale imitators lurking in the shadows of the industry Following back-to-back IPO announcements by the two largest independent online video sites in the PRC, Tudou.com and Youku.com, the world’s investors and media industry are getting a close look at what may be the future of media in China.

Continuing losses in the sector and the spectre of a capricious government regulator may put off investors. But for marketers, the question is whether after nearly five years of development, online video is ready for consideration in the China media mix. Despite the fact that online video reaches less than 25% of China’s population and that the sites are still crafting their value proposition for advertisers, a growing number of marketers are giving the sector a try.

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