15-year-old Bilibili and its three generations of young audiences

On 27 June, Bilibili, China’s equivalent of YouTube, celebrated its 15th anniversary. Chairman and CEO Chen Rui delivered a speech themed “Growing with You” during the anniversary livestream, sharing crucial information about Bilibili’s development, user behaviour, and content consumption trends related to new energy vehicles and AI. In 2018 and 2021, Bilibili was listed in the US and Hong Kong, respectively. Its ecosystem has been studied and utilised by brands aiming to engage with China’s Gen Z youth.

According to Chen Rui’s presentation, Bilibili’s user base is dominated by those born in the 1990s and 2000s, accounting for nearly 70% of the total. Currently, the platform boasts 102 million daily active users and 341 million monthly active users, with the average daily usage time being 105 minutes. Considering the average daily leisure time per person is about 300 minutes, Bilibili users spend a third of their leisure time on the platform.

Users who joined the site in 2009, the earliest cohort, mainly watch Erciyuan (二次元, also called Manga, Anime and Games) content and continue to maintain their interest in it. Users who joined in 2017 have more diversified entertainment preferences, including anime, national creativity, documentaries, and science and technology content. And those who joined in 2022 primarily consume various university courses.

Data from Bilibili also shows that over 70 million users research cars on the platform every month, with a 218% year-on-year increase in contributions. Bilibili has established a dedicated “car area”, where creators post car reviews, test-driving experiences, industry analyses, and other related content. This also made Bilibili the core discussion forum for new energy vehicles, with a 71% year-on-year increase in the number of videos played on this topic.

In 2023, the average daily video views of AI-related content grew by more than 80% year-on-year, covering areas such as popular science information, AI technology applications, digital humans, and creative applications. Over 80 million users watch AI content on Bilibili every month, and 60% of this audience is post-2000s.

Since its inception in 2009, Bilibili has evolved from an early Erciyuan cultural community into a multicultural platform encompassing over 7,000 interest circles. Its unique ‘bullet comment’ (弹幕) culture and ‘auto-tune remix-themed content’ (鬼畜) once made Bilibili a hub for meme creation. Now, with the global focus on AI, Bilibili believes it has transformed into “the community with the strongest AI mindset.”

At the end of his speech, Chen Rui shared the stories of several creators, highlighting Bilibili’s transformation from a niche platform to a cultural community with wide-ranging influence. This emotional marketing strategy has been instrumental in building Bilibili’s strong brand image and user trust.


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