[Exclusive]Gangkr Founder Ling Hai Eyes A Market Bigger than China’s Radio Market

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Gangkr is one of most innovative products in 2012. Different from average social audio apps that are no more than enabling users to record audios and share with friends, Gangkr was born with gamification elements. It may have something to do with Ling Hai, founder and CEO of Gangkr, who used to be the president of Shanda Games which has been one of the biggest gaming companies in China. It’s our great pleasure to have him at ChinaBang 2013 to talk about Gangkr.

Ling Hai left Shanda in early 2012 and establish a startup, named Hoodinn Interactive, to develop Gangkr. Followers joining him included former VP of Technology of Shanda Games. Released in June 2012, Gangkr isn’t no more than one year old. Asked about the timing, Mr. Ling said that there had been such demand but no such product came into being, and it had little to do with the voice app trend.

Gangkr, which in Chinese means bicker, began with one feature that users could bicker back and forth with audios. It was made more fun with more features. Now it’s for Q&As, for DJs to self-broadcast, and for any form of content that is created with audios. Its homepage now features a charity campaign that several famous TV hosts are raising fund by recording voice messages upon requests by users who make donations.

The platform has invited and attracted many radio DJs to do their own audio shows — more freely than what they can do at their formal jobs. Gangkr also counts on user-generated content. Mr. Ling believes it’s much easier for a user to microcast than compose a microblogging message, and it could be way more difficult for users to write an article, say a blog post, than talk about something.

A team of editors were built to monitor all the content and pick out “quality content” , unlike services like Changba whose content are also generated by users but they wouldn’t interfere with what to be shown to users.

More to Monetize

Mr. Ling is confident about monetization, saying there will be more valuable content and more fun on the platform to monetize, apart from making money from advertising which is the major revenue source for radio market — its size in China is about 1.5-1.6 billion yuan, according to Ling.

Virtual items — exactly the same with what you can buy in online games — are for sale. Virtual rewards are created to encourage content producers and audiences to stay longer on the platform. Gangkr plans to create more “games” for users to spend more time on it. Mr. Ling gave an example, Idioms Solitaire, that Chinese often play when sitting together by speaking.

Gangkr will only build online presence, unlike other online entertainment services that plan to expand to the offline market.