The WeChat analytics website Newrank just released a new survey of 1,032 social media account operators (“Self-media” or “自媒体”) in China.
Who are they? How much do they make? How do they generate revenue? All of the answers are below!
Who are they?
The survey reveals that social media account operators in China are:
- Majority male (74.1%)
- Pretty new to the job: 45% of them have been operating an account for less than a year, and only 16% for more than 3 years
We also learn that the participants of the survey are:
- Mostly young people: only 11% of them are older than 37 years old, while 42% are under 22)
- Located in large cities: 66% of the account operators are located in Tier 1 or Tier 2 cities
- Highly educated: 88% of them have a bachelor degree or above
40% of the operators are doing it as a side job, or plan to go full time but aren’t quite there yet. Only 16% of the account surved were part of media agencies.
What are their prospects?
The data reveals that 71% of the operators are actively looking for investment or might do so in the future.
This reveals that “Self-published-media” is, if anything, more similar to startup culture than it is to traditional media culture.
How much money do they make?
However, these social media accounts are for the most part unprofitable. 84% of them make less than 10,000 RMB per month. Only a tiny percentage (0.5%) makes more than 1M RMB per month
This statistic shines a light over the fact that, although we hear much about large WeChat accounts charging 30k RMB and above for each of their native ads, this represents a tiny portion of accounts and most of them are actually struggling to monetize.
The majority of accounts are using either WeChat native ads (31.7%) or KOL advertising (24.5%) as a way to monetize
What does their life look like?
Most of account operators are mostly struggling with continuously producing content (47%) and defining their business model (26%, which makes sense given the trouble we saw they have monetizing).
Only a small fraction (5%) is considering finding investment as their main struggle.
“Self-media” also turns out to be a challenging job: nearly 50% of the operators work more than 8 hours per day, 18% of them more than 11 hours per day, and 41% of them do overtime every day or nearly every day.
What do they plan to do next?
Most encouragingly, most of “Self-media” social media account operators seen content with their lot: 60.2% are happy to keep on with it next year, and 84% overall are planning to stay in the industry next year.
This reports shine new light on people operating social media accounts in China:
- They make less money than we would expect (84% make less than 10k a month)
- They have high hopes for the future (71% are considering looking for investment)
- And, less surprisingly so, they work really really hard…
… and so do we, to bring you the best content about social media in China out there, hope you like this report!