Last year we reported on the enormous claimed audience for a Backstreet Boys concert that was livestreamed on WeChat: 44.2 million viewers. Now Reuters has some interesting context on how that event fitted into WeChat’s wider strategy: its parent company Tencent’s desire to compete with TikTok (or rather, its Chinese version Douyin).

This is all focusing on the WeChat Channels feature, which launched two years ago. “The total number of views on Channels surged more than three-fold last year,” reported Reuters, based on official figures from Tencent. “Daily active creators and video uploads more than doubled.”

Sorry, there are no specific figures for these metrics, but the company has previously said it was aiming to generate 1bn yuan ($149.2m) from advertising within WeChat Channels in the final quarter of 2022.

As the Backstreet Boys show, music is playing a prominent role in all this as a way to drive engagement with the platform.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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