Online music show platforms, which provide online infrastructure for performing singing and  make money through virtual gift sales, had contributed almost half of the total revenues in China’s online digital music market in 2013. Though the market is estimated to be growing steadily for another several years, a couple of players are working on bringing to the offline world to revolutionize the traditional Karaoke, or KTV, market.

9158, one of the earliest that got traction with the model, began to work with traditional Karaoke clubs last year, trying to have the TV sets in KTV clubs connected to the Internet and installed with 9158 software.

Changba, the mobile Karaoke app that is making money in the same way with those who began with PC-based Web, is reported to acquire or invest in a traditional KTV brand to rebrand it as Changba KTV clubs.

Chen Hua, founder and CEO of Changba, once said that many of their users would meet up and hang out at local KTV clubs after they got to know each other through the app. As Changba provides charts of most popular singers in each city or region — in order to engage users and create more advertising placements — and other location-based services, it makes it easier for users of the same city to know each other.

It won’t be difficult to convert Changba users to its KTV users, for the connected KTV clubs will have way more features and fun than the traditional ones. And everyone visiting the clubs is supposed to pay — most KTV clubs in China charge an hourly fee.

Apart from the connected devices for Karaoke, Changba KTVs will be smaller in size and charge lower rates, according to a report by Chinese tech insider James Cheng(in Chinese).

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

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