No longer just fun you have after dinner

By Xu Lin ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-12-10 10:10:21

First they did it in the karaoke bars, then they did it in living rooms and now they're doing it in the bedroom.

In the early 1990s karaoke bars began springing up all over China, and before long for many people karaoke singing had become the postprandial entertainment of choice.

Then, with the help of computer programs that can make anyone a karaoke DJ, the venue changed as it became possible to organize karaoke parties in the home or simply let you entertain yourself and at the same time fantasize about being a star.

In the next wave of change, in the era of the internet-and more lately the app and social networking of the past four years or so-the software was adapted to mobile devices and became much more sophisticated. Thus a form of leisure that had been enjoyed in public and then to a certain extent had retreated to the private realm reasserted itself in public thanks to the likes of live streaming and the ability to distribute music and engage with audiences.

A report by the internet consultancy Analysys of Beijing in June suggested that the new lease on life that karaoke has been given can be at least partly attributed to the huge popularity of television talent shows. In fact some of the companies that develop and distribute mobile karaoke apps have formed alliances with the TV producers as they seek to cash in on the popularity of these shows.

In the first quarter of this year more than 57 million mobile karaoke apps had been installed on devices in China, Analysys said, and most users were born in the 1990s.

Many were from provincial capitals, and most were students, freelancers or self-employed, and the female users outnumbered the male users. About 62 percent of the users of the app Changba were females, and about 60 percent of the users of WeSing were female, Analysys said.

The apps provide a good platform for budding internet celebrities to become better known, Analysys said, and once they are well known enough they can take part in the apps' singing contests or reality shows to become even better known.

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