(Yicai Global) Feb. 28 -- iQiyi's income from membership fees climbed 21 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019 from a year earlier, outstripping advertising as the Chinese video-streaming site's biggest source of revenue for a sixth quarter in a row.
Run by China's largest online search engine company Baidu, iQiyi raked in subscriber dues of CNY3.9 billion (USD558 million) in the three months ended December, according to the Beijing-based firm's earnings report released yesterday. Subscriber numbers jumped 22 percent to 107 million.
Often described as China's Netflix, iQiyi saw its shares [NASDAQ:IQ] close 0.7 percent higher yesterday at USD24.42 each, after they gained and lost as much as 3 percent earlier in trading. The benchmark Nasdaq Composite Index slumped 4.6 percent.
Annual revenue exceeded its expectations to rise 16 percent to CNY29 billion (USD4.2 billion), the firm said. CNY14.4 billion of that came from membership fees, a leap of 36 percent from the year before, while advertising revenue was CNY8.3 billion, CNY1 billion less than in 2018.
Fourth-quarter revenue rose 7 percent to CNY7.5 billion due to the site's high-quality content and diversified operations, it said.
The cost of creating content has fallen for four consecutive quarters. Production costs fell 13 percent from a year earlier to CNY5.7 billion in the fourth quarter and grew just 6 percent over the year to CNY22.2 billion.
Operating losses narrowed to CNY2.5 billion in the fourth quarter from CNY3.7 billion in the previous quarter. This was a 28.6 percent decrease from the same period in 2018. Net loss widened to CNY10.3 billion last year, CNY1.2 billion more than in the fiscal year 2018.
Editor: Kim Taylor