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Location-based social network Momo has launched a live concert broadcasting platform called Momo ‘Xianchang’, meaning ‘on the spot’. Through Momo Xianchang, users will be able to interact with singers during a concert, leaving comments or sending virtual gifts. 

When Momo was listed on the U.S. stock market, CEO Tang Yan previously stated that the company would push a video live broadcasting service. Their pending privatization is possibly a driver in the reorganization of the business.

Momo Xianchang and YY Music both generate revenue from virtual gift sales. The major difference is Momo’s focus on professional singers rather than amateurs. In order to run the platform, Momo hired well-regarded Hong Kong musician Liang Qiaobo on July, who is the music director of famous entertainment program Woshigeshou, a.k.a. ‘I’m the Singer’.

Like YY’s amateur singer feature, the singers on the new Momo platform will be able to make changes in song lists and react to fan comments, ideas and gifts. Based on Momo’s identity as location-based social network, Momo Xianchang will also adopt functions like special-interest groups, nearby activities and nearby message boards.

“Momo will invest more on Momo Xianchang’s manpower, financial resources, and technology,” Momo Vice chairman Jia Wei said. Momo expects more individual musicians as well as entertainment management companies to join the platform and cooperate in launching the brand.

The concept of live broadcasting concerts in this fashion has been increasingly popular since LeTV kicked off the trend last year by broadcasting popular Chinese singer Wang Feng’s concert. Users could enjoy the concert in realtime online by paying 30 RMB ($4.6 USD). Over three days, the video saw 75,000 hits and LeTV made about 2 million RMB (about $309,000 USD) revenue (Chinese source).

YY Music has also proved that live music broadcasting can be very lucrative. In 2013, roughly half of the total sales generated on China’s online music market were from online music shows like YY Music. At that time, CCNT report estimated that the online singing show market would reach 8.5 billion RMB (about $1.4 billion USD) in 2015.

Music and video content streaming businesses like Tencent Video, Youku Tudou, PPTV, Mango TV, Netease Music, Migu Music, Kugou, Ximalaya, and LycheeFM successively entered music live broadcasting business. 

As China’s copyright watchdog, the National Copyright Administration (NCA) announced that China’s online streaming services should remove unlicensed music by the end of July, it would mean more online music companies would have to find new revenue sources. Companies who cannot afford the licensing fees have suffered, while internet giants like Tencent QQ, Baidu Music and NetEase Music remain comfortable in the industry.

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