No longer just fun you have after din­ner

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COVER STORY - By XU LIN

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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