Ximalaya, a Chinese audio streaming platform, has submitted an application for listing to the HKEx on Monday after dropping plans to list publicly in the United States. The firm’s co-sponsors were Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and CICC.
According to the prospectus, this year, Ximalaya completed its E Round of financing worth nearly $350 million. In the six months ended June 30, 2021, Ximalaya’s revenue reached 2.51 billion yuan ($389 million), a year-on-year increase of 55.5%. The average total monthly active users reached 262 million, including 151 million monthly active users of IoT and other third-party platforms.
The company posted losses of more than 2 billion yuan between 2018 and 2020. Net losses for the first half of 2021 reached 324 million yuan.
As of June 30, 2021, about 24% of the platform’s users were born in the 1980s, 28% in the 1990s and 25% in the 2000s. In terms of regional distribution, 53% of users come from first-and second-tier cities in China, 37% from third-and fourth-tier cities, and 10% from lower-tier cities and rural areas.
Even though Ximalaya has become one of the top players in the industry, it faces many new powerful competitors. In addition to platforms like Litchi FM and Qingting FM, Tencent, ByteDance, Netease and other giants have successively entered the online audio industry. In April, Tencent Music released a brand-new long audio brand called “Lanrenchangting” (an audio platform for lazy people), and in September, NetEase Cloud Music launched the “Sound Theater,” featuring adapted radio dramas and audio books from popular TV series.
Data from iiMedia Research show that since 2018, the number of users in China’s online audio industry has risen steadily each year. In 2020, the number of users reached 570 million, a year-on-year increase of 16.3%. It is estimated that the number of users will reach 640 million in 2021.