Spent 3.6 billion dollars, Baidu has fallen a key piece on the live broadcast battlefield. After the merger of Huya and Douyu, Baidu is trying to win a place in today's live broadcast track by acquiring YY.
On the morning of November 17, Baidu announced that it had signed a final binding agreement with Huanju Times Group to wholly acquire Huanju Group’s domestic live broadcast business (ie "YY Live Broadcast"), including but not limited to YY Mobile Application, YY.com website, YY PC client, etc., with a total transaction value of approximately US$3.6 billion (approximately RMB 23.7 billion). The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021. The products, technology, team, The host and the guild ecology will all belong to Baidu.
Even if the iQiyi, which won US$2.8 billion in management buyouts by Robin Li and Gong Yu in 2016, is 3.6 billion. The US dollar acquisition of YY is also the largest single acquisition by Baidu since its establishment 20 years ago.
For this news, there are two voices in the industry. One is surprised. The two seemingly unrelated companies have come together. The other thinks that Baidu borrows YY’s technology and It is reasonable to operate and revitalize its own traffic, get together and let go of domestic live broadcast services, and retreat to overseas markets.
The "late" Baidu live broadcast catches up.
Baidu live broadcast started late. It was not until March this year that Baidu launched its live broadcast business and began to recruit a large number of live broadcast-related Positions, including live broadcast product manager, live broadcast product operations, live broadcast e-commerce operations, etc. At the same time, Baidu Baijiahao launched the live broadcast function, and the anchor can realize real-time sharing and dialogue with fans through Baijiahao.
But at that time, various live broadcast platforms had already established themselves in the market, and Baidu Live, as a latecomer, did not cause much sensation. At that time, according to the data of research institution CBNData (as of June), Douyin and Kuaishou had been separated Growing into a national-level application with a monthly activity of over 500 million and a monthly activity of 430 million, the "back wave" is fierce enough.
Baidu began to exert its efforts on live broadcast after May of this year. At the Mobile Ecological Conference on May 13, Baidu launched the live broadcast "Energy Convergence Plan" with pan-knowledge live broadcast as the core and announced that it will take Ten billion traffic and 500 million subsidies were used to cultivate high-quality live broadcast creators, and to create 1,000 anchors with monthly income of over 10,000. The next day, Baidu announced on Weibo that Robin Li and Fan Deng would conduct cross-border talks on Baidu Live. This is Robin Li's live broadcast debut, and it is self-evident for Baidu's live broadcast platform.
Since then, Baidu’s live broadcast business has entered a period of rapid development. Two "front waves" in the live broadcast and short video industries have been recruited to counter the "back waves". One is the original Huya (YY game live broadcast) founder Gu Feng (real name Chen Luojin), as the head of the live broadcast team, reports to Ping Xiaoli, vice president of Baidu and general manager of Baidu App; the other is Song Jian, the initiator of Toutiao’s video business and former head of Watermelon Video, Baidu The title given is the general manager of Haokan Video, who will report to the executive vice president of Baidu Group Shen Shi.
From the establishment of a live broadcast team to Li Yanhong’s live broadcast as a business platform, in 2020, Baidu will be active in live broadcast and other video business forms The acquisition of the domestic content, technology and domestic team of YY Live Broadcast, for Baidu, is equivalent to making up for shortcomings in live broadcast technology and operations.
In short, Baidu’s live broadcast business has now been given more expectations, and has already risen to the company’s core strategic level. There is no doubt that Baidu’s acquisition of YY Live broadcast is to "add firewood" to its live broadcast business. "After the waves", but for YY, splitting up domestic business does not mean getting away.
The "outdated" live broadcast of YY moved to foreign countries
Huanju Times was once an established platform in the field of domestic live broadcast. In 2016, YY took advantage of the rise of mobile live broadcast and experienced fierce thousands of broadcasts. After the war, YY Live and Huya Live each became the best on the two tracks of show live and game live. At its peak, the market value of YY once exceeded 50 billion yuan.
2016 to 2017 are the two years with the best domestic business growth in Huanju Era. Relying on YY live broadcast and Huya, the monthly activity of Huanju Era has steadily increased, reaching 76.5 million at the end of 2017, a year-on-year increase of 36.6%. At that time, Huanju's revenue was also growing rapidly. In Q3 and Q4 of 2017, Huanju's revenue increased by 48% and 45% year-on-year.
However, such a good day did not last long. Starting in 2018, the live broadcast has ceased. The rise of short videos has pushed the pause button to the hustle and bustle. Douyin and Kuaishou have become traffic oligarchs. With a lot of users' time, Douyin and Kuaishou's live broadcasts have also taken off quickly, squeezing the growth space of the gathering together.
In the age of indecisive gatherings, not only short videos were eventually missed, but also in the field of entertainment live broadcasting became more and more blurred. In 2018, the growth rate of monthly active and paying users of YY Live began to slow down, and then According to YY’s financial report information, from the second quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020, the growth rates of paying subscribers of YY live broadcast were 19.1%, 14.4%, 9.8%, -3.6%, -2.2%, respectively. Obviously, YY Live is going downhill.
In 2020, after the rise of live streaming, YY live streaming has also tried it, and for a while, YY’s cultural and game products have almost It started, but then there was no sound. What's interesting is that in the case of domestic business downturn, foreign business has increased.
In the unaudited financial report for the second quarter of 2020 released by Huanju Times, Huanju Group’s global average mobile monthly active users increased by 21.0% year-on-year to 457 million, of which 91.0% came from overseas markets, and live worldwide Mobile monthly active users of the service increased by 20.4% year-on-year to 102.3 million. In addition, Bigo's live broadcast revenue reached 2.95 billion, an increase of 158.8% year-on-year, accounting for more than half of the group's live broadcast revenue for the first time.
Li Xueling, CEO of Huanju Group, once said: "In the field of live broadcast, Huanju cannot see competitors in the world." Therefore, under the background of the strong growth of foreign business, YY sold the bottleneck domestic live broadcast business and It is not difficult to understand, besides, the scene of "The Return of the Tiger's Teeth" has been staged some time ago.
In fact, if you have observed the development of the Huanju era in recent years, you will not be surprised by the rumors of YY selling oneself, because it is obvious that YY is no longer the core of the Huanju era, and China is no longer the Huanju era. The main battlefield of YY, the split of YY is not a sudden decision, more like one of the established steps of a strategic shift.
This strategic shift officially began last year. Huanju Times first completed the incorporation of BIGO, an independent growth company, in March last year, and then sold Huya to Tencent in April this year, and now it sells YY Sold to Baidu, Huanju Times has almost transferred its domestic business (YY Live Huya) to domestic Internet giants.
In general, Baidu’s acquisition of YY Live Broadcast is a mutual cooperation. For Baidu, with YY Live Broadcast, its live broadcast The strategy has a new focus. By embedding in the Baidu APP, the content of YY Live can also help Baidu continue to increase user activity and enrich Baidu’s information flow structure;
For YY Live, With live broadcast platforms such as Huya and Douyu all relying on Internet giants, the survival of "small" live broadcast platforms has become difficult. YY Live broadcasts domestic business with Baidu's "thigh" to ensure that it has more traffic and financial support. YY Live It is also possible to better focus on foreign live broadcast content, so as to continue to "lead" the foreign live broadcast market.