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Source: Finance and Economics
Recently, the “Nanjing Summer Festival” officially hosted by Bilibili (hereinafter referred to as Station B) was scolded on the hot search, and the two-dimensional cultural event originally scheduled to be held in Nanjing on July 17 was urgently stopped.
The “Xuanzang Temple Tablet” incident that was hotly discussed during the same period seems to have exacerbated the disgust of this “Nanjing Summer Festival”. Station B, which started with two-dimensional culture, has been “kidnapped” by two-dimensional elements while vigorously “going to two-dimensional” in recent years.
According to the financial report, the total revenue of Station B in fiscal 2021 will reach 19.38 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 62%. At the same time as revenue growth, Station B will have a net loss of RMB 6.8 billion in 2021 and RMB 3.1 billion in 2020, a year-on-year increase of more than 110%.
“Narrowing losses and turning losses into profits” has become the focus of Bilibili CEO Chen Rui in recent years.
While the growth of the new business sector is sluggish, the two-dimensional business has increasingly become the foundation for station B to settle down. In a sense, it is very painful to live in station B, which repeatedly jumps between “going or not” two-dimensional.
This is evident in the attitude towards summer festivals.
“Summer Festival” originally refers to traditional festivals held in various parts of Japan between July and August each year. During the festival, people will wear traditional Japanese kimonos and participate in temple fairs, visiting local shrines to worship ancestors, watching Fireworks display and other folk activities.
In terms of activity form, the Summer Festival is similar to our Qingming Festival, so the Summer Festival can be said to be a standard native Japanese festival.
With the development of Japan’s two-dimensional culture, the summer festival has also become an important presentation platform for the development of the animation industry. Therefore, many comic exhibitions held overseas will also use similar names such as “summer festival” and “autumn festival” to name the exhibition.
Of course, from the event itself, it may only have the nature of an ordinary comic exhibition. However, the problem is that the name is too sensitive. Caijing Wuji found in the feedback from many netizens on this topic on Zhihu, Weibo, including Station B itself, that more people are dissatisfied with the direct use of Japanese festivals as the name of the event, and there is a lack of consideration.
In fact, the “New Year’s Eve” at Station B’s New Year’s Eve party in 2021 was changed to “New Year’s Eve” at the request of all parties, and the two-dimensional content in the whole event was also reduced year-on-year, which was once interpreted by the outside world. For “de-dimension”.
In this regard, Chen Rui’s own attitude is also worth pondering. In a speech two years ago, he publicly stated:
“Station B will definitely change, but in a better direction.”
So, for the better and better Station B, why should we regain the “return to grass” and embrace the two-dimensional business again?
The answer may be related to the obstruction of the strategy of breaking the circle at station B.
Once, the game business, as the mainstay of Bilibili’s revenue, once accounted for more than 80%.
However, in the ever-changing environment, the mobile game business of Station B has gradually shrunk to 26.3%. The root cause is that there are too many uncertain factors in the game market, which is greatly affected by policies and regulations, especially the approval efficiency of game version numbers.
In May, station B cancelled the exclusive agency cooperation with Diffraction Network for “Amber Effect” due to the issue of version number review. The official of station B then explained that it had to cancel the contract because the cumulative number of times the version submitted by Diffraction Network had failed to pass the acceptance inspection has reached three times.
In June, Gamma Data and China Game Industry Research Institute released the “Report on the Development of Enterprises During the Epidemic in 2022”. The “Report” shows that the domestic game market will show a downward trend during the epidemic in 2022, especially in the industrial powerhouse-Shanghai. In March and April during the lockdown, the actual sales revenue of the game market was 22.572 billion yuan and 22.99 billion yuan respectively, a year-on-year decrease of 9.05% and 3.40%.
At the same time, according to Caixin news, several Bilibili employees confirmed that Bilibili has started a round of layoffs since mid-May, mainly focusing on games and commercialization.
When gradually shifting the focus from the game side, Chen Rui also pinned his hopes on the content operation of the platform:
“The consumption scene of station B must be multi-scene and multi-screen. It is not limited to medium and long videos, and it is not limited to the horizontal screen performance mode. It can have relatively short videos, live broadcasts, or vertical screen.”
The content directly corresponds to the high-quality and high-output UP main group, which is also the most important reason for the differentiation between Station B and Doukuai. Therefore, station B will conduct the selection of the top 100 UP owners every year, and continue to strengthen the influence of UP from the perspective of the platform and attract users.
Regrettably, in recent years, the overturning incident of the top 100 UP owners has become a “normal”.
In June of this year, the remarks in the latest video released by UP’s main Tubake and China BOY on social platforms caused heated discussions on the Internet.
When the two answered fans’ questions about “how to deal with girls who they can’t catch up with”, they put forward a rather excessive suggestion of “revenge”, which was strongly resisted by netizens.
Although the two said afterwards that the video content was “just acting” and later deleted the relevant video content, the impact was still very bad. You must know that the two UP masters have 6.286 million and 8.133 million fans respectively.
On January 11 this year, Station B announced the shortlist of the “Top 100 UP Masters in 2021”. The selected UP master “Did Chao Yan sing today” was only selected for two days, and announced his withdrawal from the “Top 100 UP Masters”. The reason It was a netizen who revealed that his mother was an old lady.
The netizen @bibibibi, who broke the black material, showed all kinds of evidence and a civil judgment. On the day the court ordered her mother to compel repayment, Chaoyan said in his video that ” The “classic” remarks that I borrowed money based on my own ability, why should I pay it back.
Under the unanimous boycott of netizens, “Chaoyan” released a news on January 13, indicating that it would withdraw from the selection of “Top 100 UP Masters”.
And UP’s “witty party girl”, who once had more than 6 million fans, also quit the Internet and thought about it because of an incident similar to the “Nanjing Summer Festival”.
The frequent overturning of UP owners may be related to individuals, but the misplacement of B station in the supervision of UP owners is also a major key. In a sense, station B is like a “scumbag” who only intervenes in profit distribution and does not assume follow-up responsibilities. While enjoying the traffic brought by the UP master, it has always lacked vigilance in controlling the direction of content.
On June 20th, Station B ran a paid video mode in a low-key manner. An UP master named “Hook Old Master Duncan” officially launched a paid video collection “Top Ten Unsolved Mysteries in the World”, charging 30 yuan, an average of 1 The episode is 3 yuan. Judging from the content of the three episodes currently launched, the duration is about 20 minutes.
Regarding the launch of paid content, Duncan said, “If there is an opportunity to increase some income for our small group, maybe we can expand our production capacity and do some more interesting things.”
However, from the feedback of paid content after the launch, Caijing Wuji found in the comment area of the free promotion video that netizens who purchased and watched were not satisfied with the quality of the relevant content.
Many netizens believe that Duncan’s main supernatural hunting video “itself has been talked about by many people”, and it is very outrageous to charge a fee.
The dissatisfaction of netizens is also directly reflected in the playback volume of recent videos. Duncan’s previous video playback volume was generally more than 500,000, while the latest three paid content videos were played for 38,000, 12,000 and 1,952 times respectively.
Perhaps it was a series of dilemmas that broke the circle, so that the B station, which was full of bags, began to re-examine the beauty of the two-dimensional business.
After all, unlike the bottomless pit of games and operations, the second dimension brings intuitive income to Station B.
As early as 2017, Station B launched a self-operated e-commerce company called “Member Purchase”, which mainly deals in figures, books and comics, and second-dimensional peripheral products. Even clothing and electronic digital products have obvious second-dimensional branding.
In 2021, the revenue of e-commerce and other businesses of Station B will be 2.8 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 88%. The proportion of revenue has also rapidly expanded to 15%. Even in the first quarter under the impact of the epidemic, e-commerce revenue accounted for 12%.
In this situation, one can’t help but think of the classic line in the ghost and animal area of station B-
“Swallow, how can I live without you.”
Especially in recent years, under the multiple factors such as the breaking circle strategy, the mass exodus of the two-dimensional group may make this platform even more anxious.
Station B, as the base of ACG, is still dominant in the field of domestic animation dramas. According to Leibao Pro statistics: In the second quarter of 2022, Tencent Video, Youku, iQiyi, and Station B launched a total of 43 domestic animation series (with overlaps), with Station B accounting for 21 and Tencent Video 11 Department, Youku 7, iQiyi 4.
Station B, which occupies “half of the country” in the Chinese comics market, comes from its key investment layout in the animation field. According to relevant media statistics, in 2021, Station B will invest in a total of 57 companies, directly doubling the number of investments in 28 companies in 2020. Judging from the investment amount, there are 6 billion-dollar investments, two of which are animation companies.
In addition to investing heavily in the national comics market, Bilibili has also taken steps to explore the field of “going overseas”: According to statistics from APP Growing, as of the week of January 12 this year, Bilibili Comics, the overseas version of Bilibili Comics, was in the global book and reference market. The amount of promotional materials for APPs ranked second.
In the Southeast Asian market, “Blade of Evolution” and “Artisan” were shortlisted in the Top 5 Anime Hot Lists in Indonesian and Chinese respectively. Works such as “Blessings from Heaven” and “Mortal Cultivation of Immortals” have also gained a lot of popularity from overseas users. .
However, in the field of animation, you can never bypass Japanese comics.
Station B can become the base of ACG, the largest two-dimensional community in China, relying on the popular dramas that are constantly being launched simultaneously with Japan.
However, there are certain risks in operating overseas imported animation products. The first is the cost of copyright acquisition. According to the statistics of the second element base, the exclusive licensing fee of the Japanese animation “Ghost Slayer”, which has been popular in the animation industry in recent years, is about 30 million yuan.
Of course, 30 million is just the price of super popular works. According to a report disclosed by an animation agency, the agency price of Xinfan animation reached a peak of 7.2 million yuan in 2017. With stricter supervision and the impact of the epidemic , the agency price of the new fan in 2020 is about 500,000 yuan per unit.
According to the number of new animations introduced by Station B in recent years, Caijing Wuji found that, on average, Station B introduces about 100 new animations every year. For animation alone, the guaranteed introduction fee of 50 million yuan is indispensable. In order to ensure the “two-dimensional concentration”, if station B includes the introduction of super popular games such as “Blade of Ghost Slayer”, “Spy Playing Home”, and “Curse Back to War”, the overall cost will easily exceed 100 million.
However, many animes in Japan contain “edge ball” content. Even if they can be introduced at the sky-high price of Bilibili, they will be reintroduced. In the end, what users of Bilibili will see may only be a “special edition”.
As an “old two-dimensional” S born in the 1985s, station B is not his first choice for watching fan dramas.
“I watched it on TV when I was a kid. Later, many animations were not released. The online subtitle group and the fellow group became popular. For example, One Piece, I will still find the version made by Fengxue animation.”
S told Caijing Wuji that because of the convenience of mobile phones, he had watched the episode on station B before, but he found that some old episodes had been deleted. “I was very happy when I found out that there is “Devil Altar Fighter” at station B, so I revisited it, and found that many pictures were deleted.”
There are many reasons for deletion, but for S, watching this “castrated version” of the animation, it is better to download it online. “It’s not very troublesome to download now, there are many forums, and no ladders are needed.”
More popular masterpieces, in fact, station B cannot be introduced at all. “I don’t believe that station B can introduce giants.” The “giant” in S’s mouth refers to “Attack on Titan”, which has been very popular in recent years.
Because of the subject matter, this hot-blooded show that was popular all over the world was once unable to find resources in China. The self-proclaimed “Secondary Element Base” B station only has some clips and videos edited by netizens.
From this perspective, station B is in urgent need of some changes to bring back the broken hearts of the two-dimensional group.
This may also be the source of the increasing frequency of summer festivals in recent years. In a sense, from changing the name of the New Year’s Eve, to de-animation, and now to the return to ACG, station B has always been in the contradiction between breaking the circle and encircling the land.
The two “invisible hands” of capital and the second dimension are the two “invisible hands” that pull the B station to repeatedly jump. Considering the current environment of the B station, the strength of the second element’s hand has been significantly increased.
Today, it is undeniable that some advantages of station B still exist, but how to get out of the single mode of “either or the other” and always maintain the effective dissemination of high-quality culture has become a problem that Chen Rui needs to consider urgently.
After all, there are not many opportunities left for station B to take down the shelf and apologize.
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