Tencent launches online Karaoke service, Just Wanna Karaoke, a combination of YY Music and Changba

Tencent Taps into Online Music Show Business

By Tracey Xiang on July 29, 2013


Tencent officially launched an online Karaoke service, Just Wanna Karaoke, which began public testing in May. It is developed by 91KGE, a music game development company, and Tencent calls it a social game. It’s, however, no more than a combination of YY Music and Changba. YY Music is an online live music show platform that sells virtual gifts to audiences to buy for performers. Changba is a mobile Karaoke app that recently started selling virtual gifts as well. Two months ago YY Music launched a major update of its mobile app that added live video broadcasting. YY is trying to expand from music to other forms of performance, such as oral storytelling, as well. Changba, starting with audio only, began supporting videos recently.It is believed that eventually the two forms of services will become one, no matter it is on PC or mobile, with audio or video, through singing songs or giving talks. It may be called online show business.

Apart from virtual sales, it is estimated that revenue sources will include chart slots, offline concerts or other events, among others. Platform operators just take revenue cuts.

9158 is recognized as the first that, inspired by a Korean product, developed such a service in China and proved it’s such a lucrative business. So far the market has been crowded, with players including 6.cn, Kuwo, 51.com, Guagua. It is reported that Baidu is also developing one and will release it in one month.

CEO of 9158 Fu Zhengjun estimated the market could be no bigger than two billion yuan. But it seems its peers believe the market can be bigger. YY Music platform generated RMB116.8 million (US$18.8 million), a 245.9% growth, in the first quarter of 2013. It is estimated a couple of other companies have made more money than YY Music has.

Tencent knows one or two things on online virtual sales and social games.  Tencent also has a long history of selling virtual items. QQ Show, a virtual avatar business, was one of the first revenue sources of Tencent’s. When Happy Farm, a social game, became a hit on Chinese social networks such as Renren and Kaixin001, Tencent copied one and launched it on its own social platform Q-zone. Thanks to its huge user base, the clone of Happy Farm became a big success for Tencent and generated revenues from virtual sales for much longer time than those for other social networks. QQ Pet is another successful social game from where Tencent made tons of money on virtual items. Today the company, with more than half of the total revenues from online games, is more experienced in operating games.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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