Today, we announced that Acorn International, Inc. has expanded its e-commerce business into live streaming and short form-videos in China. Formerly a top infomercial company in China, Acorn is now redirecting its direct marketing know-how to digital media in China, and launching Acorn Streaming, which is primarily focused on live streaming and pre-recorded video content creation.
This is a growing market. China’s live streaming users grew 23% year-over-year to 422 million in 2017 according to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), with over 40% viewing live streaming on a daily basis. We are leveraging Acorn’s nearly 20 years of direct marketing expertise in China to transition from its legacy tie to TV media to online live streaming media, launching both “pay per view” live streaming as well as “click to buy” live streaming e-commerce.
Currently, Acorn Streaming is streaming across multiple media channels in China, including JD.com and Tmall, as well as multiple niche platforms that support live and/or pre-recorded streaming. Acorn Streaming is also developing longer, episode-oriented, pre-filmed video content, in some cases derived from its live streaming content, which can be put across these same platforms as well as other popular platforms in China that support pre-filmed content.
Acorn International was a first mover and leader in the TV infomercial space and spent two decades honing its direct marketing capabilities. With the change of regulations and other market shifts, it has moved away from TV direct marketing and identified new media where we can apply our depth of experience. Live streaming and its short-form video counterpart have emerged as this new media in China.
We are building an ecosystem among our new business units: Acorn Fresh, an e-commerce provider of high quality food products; Acorn Entertainment, serving brands and celebrities, including celebrity chefs; and Acorn Streaming, which works closely with major and niche digital media platforms across China. We view this ecosystem as a powerful platform that will drive revenues in the future.