Changba launched virtual currency earlier that users now can buy virtual flowers to reward singers. Chen Hua, founder and CEO of Changba, said it, besides being a step toward monetization, was meant to meet users’ demand, when I sat down with him at our ChinaBang 2013.

Previously, every user on Changba was allowed to send a limited number of virtual flowers to singers for free. But that’s far from enough to some. Audiences would like to spend money to show their support to performers, according to Mr. Chen, and some singers wanted to buy their way to higher positions on the popularity-based charts — audiences who care so much about  singers they like also would like to spend money there. Mr. Chen doesn’t think paid chart rankings can materially affect the whole picture of ranking, which means he doesn’t worry that other users would be angry at it.

When it comes to ARPU, however, he doesn’t think Changba, as a mobile KTV app, can make that much money from a user as real-time video show services who make money from virtual item sales, such as 9158. His reasoning is male users, who make up 9158’s major audiences, would like to pay more, while a majority of users on Changba are female.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com