China’s YouTube equivalent, Bilibili, has unveiled a list of the top 100 content creators on this video-sharing platform on 11 January. Unlike previous results, this year sees more diversity, with creators from a wider range of content categories nominated, showing the growing nature of the platform.
Apart from the 25 creators from the category of gaming, the section that Bilibili made its fame from, the rest of the nominees are specialised in sectors including music, food, technology, and lifestyle. The result indicates that Bilibili is now moving from a homogeneous platform with a pure focus on Amination, Comic, and Game (ACG) to a hub of pop culture and entertainment. A community with varying feeds that cater to Millennials and the Gen Z crowd, who account for the majority of its user base.
The platform sees 72 million daily active users, of whom, 86% are under 35. The inquisitive nature of its young users has pushed Bilibili to exploit new areas and diversify its content, one of the reasons it has seen greater success by targeting new content areas. One of the direct ways to drive the range of its offering is to cultivate a new cohort of content creators, with this year’s list being part of the effort to encourage more diverse content creation in the future. By broadening the appeal of the platform Bilibili is able to not only cater to current users but attract far more new consumers of content that do not have an appetite for gaming.
While trying to be all-around is one thing, the increased regulatory scrutiny of the gaming industry has also played a part in the shift. Just one day before its release of the list, Bilibili said it will ban the live streaming of games with bloody, violent, and pornographic content and has taken down more than 60 video games for relevant breaches. Such new regulations have affected many Chinese tech firms and their ability to shift with the market will be crucial to their continued success.
The action is clearly in compliance with the government’s requirements to create a “healthy Internet culture” and to curb gaming addiction, especially among the country’s young people. With the authority tightening control over gaming content, it would be wise for Bilibili to seek other avenues to generate revenues while keeping the growth with new users landing on the platform as a result of diversified offers.
The list also sent another important signal that online traffic would be a less relevant factor for content platforms in line with Bilibili in the future. According to Bilibili, candidates were judged against three criteria, which cover professionality, influence, and creativity.
As a result, this year has also seen many creators with a relatively small following shortlisted for the top 100. As online traffic is not the most important stat on a video-focused platform like Bilibili, it is believed that the system will enable more genuine influencers who are passionate about their niche to come to the public’s eyes.
After nearly 13 years of development, Bilibili has grown into a platform that homes what is believed to be higher-quality creators than those on other video platforms. The latest list has shown its determination to optimise its ecosystem in order to maintain and further attract more talents as the site continues to grow larger. These efforts, in the meantime, will draw in more audience with its range and quality of content, therefore, taking the platform to a healthy and sustainable model of growth in the long run.