China’s mini karaoke booths win hearts of young people who look for fun
Apart from popular street food and claw machines, Chinese people are now lining up for another similarly small but seemingly more profitable business: mini karaoke booths, as the small booths with neon lights win an increasing number of hearts.
The rise of mini karaoke booths comes at a time when the nation’s traditional karaoke booths, which offer different size rooms for people to sing their hearts out, are growing less popular.
iiMedia Research estimates that the market volume of mini karaoke booths to be 3.18 billion RMB in 2017, up 92.7 percent from the previous year. The market is expected to hit seven billion RMB in 2018, with a growth rate of 120.4 percent, The Beijing News reported.
Mini karaoke booths feature much smaller spaces, about two square meters for one or two people, and are located in shopping malls and cinemas. People are also not billed by the hour but by number of songs. A discounted combo price is usually offered if one chooses to sing more songs or stay for a longer period of time.
Compared with their traditional counterparts, the mini booths are more expensive by the hour. Still, they keep attracting young people who are looking to have some fun.
But homogeneity has made it harder for mini karaoke booth companies to stand out, pushing them to expand their services. Many mini booths now boast networking features through cooperation with big Internet players and allow customers to upload their songs to social networks such as WeChat. Some also allow customers to live-stream their singing performances on Douyu TV, according to The Beijing News.
Mini karaoke booths began to emerge in China in 2015. Now, investment in mini karaoke booth companies has reached hundreds of thousands RMB. In a popular shopping mall in Beijing’s Xicheng District, for example, each mini booth can yield about 15,000 RMB a month. A single booth can yield 500 RMB a day.