paidContent 50: The world’s most successful digital media companies

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36. Netease

Diversified, China (Public)

Last year’s rank: N/A

Digital Content Revenue

$1,187,301,000 (100% of total)


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Digital Snapshot

Founded in 1997, NetEase operates the Youdao search engine, its 163.com portal with free and fee-based community services, and a range of mobile content like ringtones, news and apps. But it is the massive online gaming community, played in China’s cybercafes, on which Netease depends. With massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) like Tianxia III and Heroes of Tang Dynasty, Netease charges both for in-game virtual items and for, in the case of some titles, time played (US$0.06 per hour). The company has 545 million registered MMORPG players and a total 1.5 billion other accounts, including 97.6 million microbloggers.

Key Move

Taking a Blizzard to China. Following an earlier broad licensing agreement, NetEase recently set to localize Blizzard’s games Starcraft II and World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm games for Chinese players; as well as Blizzard’s Battle.net online gaming platform.

Our Methodology

NetEase disclosed it made $1,041,077,000 from online games, $126,380,000 from advertising services and $19,844,000 from wireless value-added services (mobile content) in 2011.

Source: SEC: 2011 Annual Report

– RA

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