With over 400 Million Users, How did Tencent’s WeSing Make a Fortune?

Under Tencent’s Internet expansion strategy, the company’s WeSing (lit. Karaoke for Everybody)—a karaoke app that wasn’t heavily invested in—became surprisingly popular.

Aside from being relatively popular on the market, this free karaoke app has become the true embodiment of “making a fortune silently”. Li Chun, the managing director of the app, said there are already 460 million registered users (far more than Tencent‘s 200 million registered users on King of Glory), 76% of which are active monthly. According to Tencent’s financial report of 2016, the DAU (Daily Active Users) on WeSing has far surpassed 35 million, a figure that is still rising today.

The main source of income for the app comes from the virtual gifts that users send, shares from the paid compilations of internet celebrities, paid memberships, and advertisements, etc.

The app’s popularity is indirectly reflected upon its ranking in the App Store. WeSing, along with WeChat, King of Glory, QQ and Tencent Video, have all broke into the Top 20s together.

In essence, the online karaoke community of WeSing was shaped by the various social interactions on QQ and WeChat. A week ago, the app even added a new function where users can select a song and pair it up with a short 5- to 30-second music video, effectively creating a personal short clip.

I took a look at the list of most popular songs in the app and found that there is a very large and comprehensive selection of songs, which fully reflects the various age groups among the users and allows the app to live up to its name of providing karaoke for, well, everybody. There are songs like “Jiu Zhang Ji (九张机)”, “Upstream (逆流成河)”, “Drowning in Wine (一人我饮酒醉)”, as well as “Flower in the Military (军中绿花)”, “Militia Night (军港之夜)”; all are drastically different in terms of musical genre and style.

Statistics show that nearly 70% of users on WeSing are between the ages of 13 to 22 years old, demonstrating an overall drop in trend to a younger age group. The regulars on the other hand, are in fact those who are between the ages 55 to 60. Understandably, this group is likely comprised of retired folks who have a lot more time on their hands, and is evident of a very strong financial stability.

Some have even asked on Zhihu (a Chinese Q&A website), “How can I alleviate my mom of her addiction of WeSing?”

The user expressed that, “My mother bought flowers, gifts, K coins (the in-app currency), sent gifts to her friends, commented on each other’s songs, and can actually put on her headset and proceed to do nothing else for a whole day.”

The reason behind the massive and loyal user base, can be traced back to Tencent’s discovery of the specific needs of certain users.

Compared with other similar competing products, the core advantage of WeSing can be traced back to the accumulation of social interactions established on QQ and WeChat (WeChat has a MAU of over 963 million). The social interactions produced by QQ has established a rather high user loyalty on the app. Users can readily share their covers with anyone, get likes, send gifts and flowers, etc. Therefore, compared to WeSing, other competing apps do not have these kinds of perks.

According to reports, WeSing will work towards establishing a VIP membership and a hardware payment system in the future. The next step of development for the app would be to find out a more efficient way of asset-to-cash conversion on top of a massive user base.


This article originally appeared in Huxiu and was translated by Pandaily.

Click here to read the original Chinese article.