9158.com was one of the first online music show platforms in China that made money from virtual gifts. And it has made a fortune. But now the market is very crowded. And more, such as Tencent and Youku, are flocking in.

YY Music plans to extend to other areas, talk shows and online courses. But where 9158 plans to expand to isn’t the Web but the offline world. It will start building brick-and-mortar Karaoke bars soon (source in Chinese).

Before this move, the site had began shifting its focus. Previously 9158 totally counted on a number of performers to attract audiences and lure them into buying virtual gifts. As competition became fierce, platforms started fighting for performers by increasing revenue sharing. 9158 then decided to transform into an online Karaoke platform for average users — like Changba.

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Tracey Xiang

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