Youku Zhuangran: Stabilizing Content Structure, Adhering to Membership Priority to Uncertainty


Sina Technologies News, August 12, morning news, “Chang’an Twelve Hours” is closing today, and more than 1,300 Youku members from 12 cities such as Xi’an, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou have watched the big ending in advance in theaters everywhere yesterday. Zhuangzhuoran, Vice President of Alibaba Group, CTO and Youku COO of Alibaba Da Culture and Recreation, was interviewed by Sina Technologies and other media during the post-screening exchange. He revealed that in Chang’an Twelve Hours and Here! Driven by Hip-hop 2 and other dramas, Youku Summer Holiday Holiday Holiday has reached a record high, with membership growth tripling that of the same period last year.
Talking about Content: Stabilizing Structure to Deal with Uncertainty
To deal with the uncertainty of single content with stable content structure is Zhuangzhuoran’s thinking on Youku’s content strategy.
In his opinion, Chang’an Twelve Hours, a drama that took more than two years from its preparation to its broadcast, is the forerunner of Youku’s summer series, and will break the record of Youku’s daily life and membership growth since 2018. However, as a user platform, Youku should give full play to its platform advantages to play the role of “leading elder brother” content to pull other content broadcast at the same time, rather than rely on a single content to bet money.
Long cycle, many production processes, policy changes… There are too many uncertainties in the content industry, Zhuangzhuoran said in an interview with Sina Technologies that in the face of these uncertainties, the stability of the entire supply chain structure needs to be established, and certainly not all hopes can be put on a certain explosion, but this content must have.
“Nobody’s judgment today is 100% accurate, no one can make a certain content burst. But when you’re under a stable structure, it doesn’t have much chance of making mistakes. Zhuangzhuoran said.
He is confident about Youku’s content in the second half of the year. He told Sina Technologies that Youku’s content will get better and better in the second half of the year and next year. As for what Youku wants to do, his answer is “grasp the unchanging things” – more importantly, output positive energy, do content for this era, content for ideals, content for feelings, content for Romanticism… As for the change itself, “we need to embrace, and nobody can exclude it”.
Talking about Members: the Group Most Should Serve and Feedback
For the video platform, content is the core, with its members side by side. Zhuangzhuoran said that adherence to membership priority strategy is the top priority in the development of user platform.
Video platform has been robbing members for a long time. Zhuangzhuoran believes that members represent the group that Youku should serve and give back most. Users’willingness to pay for the platform means trust in the platform. But when it comes to the strategy of stimulating new members and giving them back, he tells Sina Technologies that it is meaningless to maximize membership size by relying on very low discounts or even free membership. This year is the seventh anniversary of Youku’s membership business. Youku does not fight price war. Instead, it chooses to feed back its members by free viewing of paid content on the whole site. It will deliver a total of 700 million hours of membership time. In addition to more than 777 members’solo dramas, there are nearly 100 paid content, which will be open to members for free viewing on August 18.
When member revenue plays a more and more important role in the revenue share of video platform, some platforms begin to adopt the form of “super member on demand” to attract money. In this case, what will Youku do? Zhuangzhuoran disclosed to Sina Technologies that if Chang’an Twelve Hours used the preemptive mode, a set of six pieces, of course, you can do the same, but Youku preferred to organize activities, find different scenes online, and give back to the most active members. Because “the value of Youku members first represents how many people are satisfied with the content and service of the platform and willing to pay for it, and the income ranks second”.
He said that Youku’s way is to provide better and satisfying services to promote the growth of membership. On this basis, Youku hopes to do more things to give back to users.
Talking about Technology: Innovation Driven Service Partners
With the advent of 5G era, the characteristics of 5G with low latency and large bandwidth will bring more possibilities to all walks of life, including video platforms. Zhuangzhuoran laments that technology has a very large imagination space. 5G is not “because of belief, so see”, but has already seen. With the combination of big data, AI and IoT, the content form, business model and production technology will change.
He said that the future of China’s film and television industry, the future of entertainment infrastructure must come from digital industrialization, that is, the construction of film and television production infrastructure with new technologies, making it cheaper, more efficient and better quality. From this perspective, Youku’s strategy is innovation-driven, providing more valuable and innovative infrastructure for partners to continuously export content on the platform.
Taking Chang’an Twelve Hours as an example, it loads the cool HDR high dynamic range imaging technology. Compared with the ordinary color digital image technology, it enables the gamut to have a wider dynamic processing range, so that the details of the picture can be presented more clearly and the color level is stronger. In addition, Youku’s “cloud + end” rendering technology meets the high-definition and high-quality viewing needs of end users. In the same network situation, when HDR is turned on at the same time, the quality of the picture is switched instantaneously and the effect is the same.
“Youku is not a traditional content company or a movie company. We hope to look forward to serving our partners, a platform and an industry with new technology and content. This is Youku’s orientation and our direction.” Zhuangzhuoran said. (He Chang)