Interface of a Changba Live-singing Room

Changba, the most popular mobile Karaoke app in China, added a live-singing feature for users to have friends to sing together, just like in a room of a brick-and-mortar Karaoke club.

Unlike in the offline world that only invited friends can join in a Karaoke party, all the singing parties on Changba are open to every user. Named ‘Karaoke show in private rooms’, the channel in Changba shows all the singing parties. Any user is allowed to open a room and rooms can be searched by room numbers.

In each room, you can choose to sing songs or just listen to others’ singing and buy virtual gifts to singers you like. Participants in a room can leave comments or chat with each other or invite other users to join in.

The live-singing feature is almost the same with the model of YY Music, 9158, and a handful of others. An investor of such a service once told me that fans feel more encouraged to buy virtual gifts to singers during live shows. The revenue growth of YY Inc. has been driven by the live singing show business. So far Changba is the only one of those above-mentioned that started and has been focusing on mobile. YY Music moved slower on mobile, but the company said in late 2013 that they found it easier to make money on mobile than previously thought.

Prior to this live broadcast feature, Changba users needed to record singing first and save on the platform. Their audiences can buy them virtual gifts when listening to the recorded songs. Changba began monetization one year ago through virtual gift sales and planned to make money from potential advertisers.

Other revenue sources include mobile gaming, premium service subscriptions and emoticon sales. Changba announced 100 million registered accumulated users in October last year with 30 million being monthly active.

Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at

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