“The whole world is drunk and we’re just the cocktail of the moment. Someday soon, the world will wake up, down two aspirin with a glass of tomato juice, and wonder what the hell all the fuss was about.” — Dean Martin, in The Rat Pack.
That’s perhaps the most appropriate description of what is going on in the online karaoke space. In less than a month we have seen two start-ups throw their hats in the ring. Bix, which we wrote about a few days ago, and now SingShot, a San Francisco-based start-up is offering all budding Taylor Hicks’ to find fame and fortune.
The company offers a cross platform, cross-browser tool that uses Adobe Systems’ Flash technology. The tool allows users to “record their own personal versions to backing music and lyrics from the service, and share them with friends, family and the rest of the web.” Others can listen, rate and comment on the recordings ala, Simon Cowell. Mike has all the details.
Unlike most new online services, SingShot is not free. After free 2 weeks, SingShot charges a $9.95 monthly plan, but prices fall to $7.95-per-month if you sign up for a quarterly plan, and a $4.95-per-month for an annual billing plan.
Thinking about revenues – that’s a good thing, but the biggest question is how will the company compete with deep pocketed rivals such as Fox Interactive Media’s kSolo. FIM plans to use the kSolo service in conjunction with other FIM properties such as MySpace and American Idol. FIM can also offer the service for free, and pose challenges to SingShot.
“While MySpace is definitely the big dog of the social networking sites, there are a lot of other great sites to work with on the web,” says Ranah Edelin, founder of the company. Edelin used to work for Listen/Rhapsody and claims that partnerships worked for that company, and similar strategy would work for SingShot as well.
Edelin thinks because his service has a lot more features than kSolo, he can win against kSolo/MySpace combination. Maybe for a while, because in the end “I also think that the opportunity is bigger than just “online karaoke” because with the user ratings and comments, the site really becomes an online talent platform, thus broadening the scope of potential offerings (a la American Idol.)”
Even if the service does manage to overcome those challenges, the big question is will they sing? Your thoughts people?
27 thoughts on “How Big Is Online Karaoke?”
Anyone wants to build out an antakshree sight?
Well, not too happy with your reference to Taylor Hicks. If you STILL think he is a karioke singer, then you must be that drunk person.
When Karaoke is outlawed, only outlaws will have Karaoke. Lame idea. But then I thought eBay was a lame idea. My father thought the Halloid Corp. was a lame idea and didn’t buy stock in what is now Xerox.
I call for a sing-off between Nimrod (founder of kSolo) and Ranah to determine the winner in the online karaoke wars!
[full disclosure: i’m an advisor for bix, so of course i’m biased]
i think it’s a pretty big market; both in the US and around the world. if you’ve ever been to japan (or korea or china or elsewhere in asia), you realize very quickly that karaoke is HUGE. people go out every night to hang out in karaoke bars, or at least bars with karaoke machines.
in the us, i know several people who are big karaoke fans, and if American Idol ratings are any signal i’d say it’s got a good fanbase here too.
(and at least for bix, it’s not only about karaoke. bix is a actually a platform for anyone to run or participate in any kind of media-based contest. kind of a YahooGroups for contests.)
The key here would have to be good integration with mobile phones and networks. The more gimmicky an idea seems, the more suited it is to the mobile commerce space. At least that’s what this crazy frog told me . . .
So as a hardcore karaoke enthusiast, I am a bit biased…the market is huge. And I’m sure there is plenty of room for multiple players. ksolo is great, not just because of features but because of the community — it’s really quite large and supportive. And they have the best song catalog.
Bix has video karaoke and contests, which are interesting but probably much more of a youth market type of thing rather than the karaoke enthusiast’s product.
SingShot is ksolo with different colors and a smaller catalog. So what?
Online Karaoke is the perfect application to bring together the home entertainment center with the Internet. TiVo needs to jump on this. It could be a showcase application for what they’ve been trying to do with their boxes lately, though it is admittedly not a mainstream application in the US. This is a major improvement over hauling your Karaoke crap over to a friend’s house and buying overpriced Karaoke CDs. I think this is great! Are you listening SingShot?
Ksolo is a great Karaoke site. Many friendships have been formed because there is a sense of community. The rating system on any site is subject to criticism, only a panel of impartial judges would be fair as most sites are personality and frequency driven. Some people stay at home all day and have more time to interreact therefore build a bigger fan base..That subject out of the way..These sites can be addicting. I am a KSolo member and visit KSuperstar to sing and there is also the Karaokeroom which is new. Ksuperstar has some great songs and a very good sound system but still has some bugs to work out. Ksolo is easy to navigate and use and friendly. I must check out Bix and Singshot and compare the features. Those of you who do not sing will never understand the allure. Those of us that do are thrilled to have this avenue of singing and sharing without waiting our turn in a karaoke rotation of 40 singers or more at a club… I think you would be amazed at some of the very talented people there are on these sites..not always listed in the top ten, as I said there is a personality issue, but hunt around and you will see some extremely talented singers. The only difference between them and the professionals is the opportunity.. Check out Ksolo and Ksuperstar and you’ll be in for a treat…
Ronan’s Online Karaoke is another free alternative to the sites mentioned here. It doesn’t have all the fancy features, but it’s been around for almost 10 years and has quite a loyal following.
Shameless plug I know, but why should Rupert Murdock’s site get all the attention?
I’m actually a contestant on Bix…check out some of my entries:
See above? This is what turns me off to so many of the Karaoke sites online. The constant BEGGING for votes and listeners ! I feel like I’m at a used car lot on there. Many enjoy singing and of course, most want folks to listen to them, but they’ve become more of a popularity contest rather than a showcase for singing talent. They bring all their MySpace.com and Yahoo buddies over and they vote and become ‘fans’ even if the singer is one of those you have to go outside to keep from laughing at them. Once they find a cure for that type of format, it may have something creditable. As of now, it’s simply a marketing tool until those ‘fans’ and Yahoo buddies get bored.
i just read karaoke nation by steve fishman…i urge everyone to read this book
During the height of the “Internet gold rush,” journalist Fishman received $3,000 in seed money from New York magazine, to see if he could create an Internet start-up with the goal of making $1 million within a year. His idea, which he admits started out as a joke, was to create an online hip-hop karaoke site, where users could log in and sing along to their favorite hip-hop tunes, joining others to create a “karaoke community.” Although he went into it as a writing assignment, he approached it with total sincerity, and “in a terrible and unanticipated development,” he caught the bug himself. The story follows the project from germination through presentations to venture capitalists (the numbers revealed a huge untapped karaoke market) to the eventual sale of this half-baked business. In an insightful narrative on the changing times, Fishman notes how drastically the approach to work shifted in the 1990s, when entrepreneurship replaced leisure as a source of adventure, and the formerly stodgy field of business became the ultra-hip place to be. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved…
Another FREE online Karaoke AND original singers community is the Music Chat Cafe — they are even holding a contest starting Jan. 14th with a CA$H grand prize.. it’s a 100% free site.. with fun, games, songs, and jokes, and even lyrics and poetry… This was a pretty cool article.. gonna check out some of the other links as well.. thanks!
Another online karaoke website is hosting a singing competition. Cash prizes and winners can publish own singles. Great idea to become famous and a singing star. I posted my songs. Inviting competitors 🙂
Sorry, the website is http://www.kara24h.com
http://www.Karaoke2u.com is a FREE platform to promote yourself singing Karaoke. The site is powered by YouTube and uses live Video.
I’m using SingShot right now, looking for other sites too. I tried to sign up for KSolo, but they don’t support the Mac, so that cuts a lot of us out of the picture.
“See above? This is what turns me off to so many of the Karaoke sites online. The constant BEGGING for votes and listeners ! I feel like I’m at a used car lot on there. Many enjoy singing and of course, most want folks to listen to them, but they’ve become more of a popularity contest rather than a showcase for singing talent. They bring all their MySpace.com and Yahoo buddies over and they vote and become ‘fans’ even if the singer is one of those you have to go outside to keep from laughing at them. Once they find a cure for that type of format, it may have something creditable. As of now, it’s simply a marketing tool until those ‘fans’ and Yahoo buddies get bored.”
I WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE WITH DAN!! There’s this one female on kSolo and KSuperstar who can’t sing a note out of a bucket, but they keep voting for her because she has her pic up and she’s a skinny blonde chick. LOL She actually won a kSuperstar contest once. I’m listening to this girl and thinking to myslf, HOW THE HELL DID SHE WIN??
Actually, the whole rating system on sites like kSolo is unfair and it is indeed a popularity contest. Some of the real singers often get overlooked. It’s rare that a true talented singer gets lots of votes, and if they do, then great! Even if you are a great singer and sign up to sing on one of the sites, if you don’t have a pic up or aren’t a “model” type or showing much skin on your pics as a female, more than likely, you won’t get many votes. LOL
Take a look at my blog for more online karaoke sites.
The address is http://jongkeun.wordpress.com/2007/09/05/free-online-karaoke/.
You create your own videos whilst singing .. you can harmonise and duet with others all over the world. It has a message board. It runs official and non official fun contests too.
I like KantStop Karaoke because it is a free karaoke community and it is a great and newly updated!
I think there are a lot of American Idol wanna be sites out there and companies that want to try and feed off the success AI but I think the factors for success for such karaoke companies is selection and cost.
One of the most annoying thing about the online karaoke sites is that they make you pay to have voice enhancements such as reverb (don’t know anyone who sounds good without it) and that makes the contests and such out of reach for those not willing to pay to sing online.