iQiyi Confirms Swing to Profits In Third Quarter


iQiyi, the NASDAQ-listed Chinese streaming firm, confirmed its recent swing from loss to profitability with a July-September quarter that saw revenue and profits growth even as subscription numbers dipped fractionally.

Net income attributable to iQIYI was RMB476 million ($65.2 million), compared to a net loss of RMB396 million in the same period in 2022, the company said in a filing on Tuesday.

Using the company’s preferred non-GAAP statement of its accounts, net income was RMB622 million ($85.3 million), compared to non-GAAP net profits of RMB187 million in the same period last year.

Total revenues in the period were RMB8.0 billion ($1.1 billion), a 7% year over year increase. Within that figure, subscription revenue was RMB5.0 billion ($687 million), up 19% year over year. Advertising revenues were also up by 34% to RMB1.7 billion ($230 million). Those two positives were offset by a decline in content licensing revenue.

The average daily number of subscribing members excluding individuals with trial memberships for the quarter was 106.9 million, compared to 100.2 million for the same period in 2022 and 110.7 million for the second quarter in 2023.

That figure compares with 117 million reported last week by Tencent Video, iQiyi’s most comparable competitor.

IQiyi has an international business, operated from Singapore and at its strongest in Southeast Asia, but the company does not separate out the subscription numbers for or revenues from the non-mainland Chinese businesses.

Significantly, iQiyi reported year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter gains in its average revenue per user (ARPU). “The monthly average revenue per membership for the third quarter was RMB15.54, compared to RMB13.90 for the same period in 2022 and RMB14.82 for the second quarter in 2023, increasing 12% year-over-year,” the company said.

“We recorded strong results in both revenues and profits. Average revenue per member increased by 12% year over year, driven by our compelling content offering and growing perceived value of our membership privilege,” said founder, director, and CEO Gong Yu. “Our business proves to be defensible against the fluctuations of economic cycles.”

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