Sina Weibo’s coining it: ad revenue up 125%

sina weibo

sina weibo

Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social network, posted more big gains in Sina‘s Q3 2013 report (article in Chinese). Weibo advertising revenue skyrocketed 125% on last year to US$43.7-million, up 46% from US$30-million last quarter. Weibo’s non-advertising revenue also saw a 121% increase to US$9.7-million from online games and premium membership fees.

Sina as a whole posted US$25.4-million in profit and US$184.6-million in revenue during the third quarter, up a hefty 157% and 21% year-on-year, respectively. US$151.6-million of that revenue came from advertising, which made up a slightly bigger slice of the pie with a 26% increase.

Altogether, Weibo accounts for 29% of Sina’s total net revenue.

Analysts attributed (article in Chinese) Sina’s strong performance to two factors: Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba, which owns an 18% stake in Sina, funneling companies to advertise on Sina Weibo, and Twitter’s successful IPO, which boosted advertiser and investor confidence.

Sina has been avidly trying out new ways to maximize profits on Weibo. Late last month, it started allowing brands and celebrities to offer subscriptions for followers, which Sina takes a cut of. The company also recently revealed it has opened up its marketing services (article in Chinese) for companies. Some of the new features include:

  • Private letters that can be sent to subscribers
  • Customizable auto-reply for companies receiving more messages than they can handle
  • A new marketing API that comes with real-time analytics and public opinion monitoring
  • Customizable page header and background on the company’s Weibo page
  • Better integration for embedding Weibo into third-party native apps

According to SeekingAlpha, Weibo expects to fare even better in Q4 2013 with up to US$194-million in revenue, of which US$162-million will come from ads.

This article by Paul Bischoff originally appeared on Tech in Asia, a Burn Media publishing partner.



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