xi's moments

Singing seniors bring a daytime beat to Beijing's KTVs

By Sun Ru | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-04-24 15:43

Most of Beijing's KTVs, or karaoke lounges, are occupied by senior citizens in the daytime, Beijing Evening reported.

Older people often go to KTVs after shopping at morning fairs. They spend a half day or even a whole day there singing. In the late afternoon, they pick up their grandchildren from school and go back home and have dinner with their families.

"Sometimes we also bring our own relatives and friends," said senior Zhao Xiaoyi. "It doesn't matter whether we know each other very well or not, it is just relaxing to sing and dance."

Revolutionary songs are their favorites, as well as some new popular songs, such as Tian Mi Mi (which literally means "very sweet") sung by late famous singer Teresa Teng (1953 - 1995).

Huang Weihua, a KTV manager, changed some areas in his KTV into a ballroom to attract older people, because they can bring in customers although they don't spend much.

Senior citizens used to sing at home when KTVs started to go viral in China several years ago because the cost to use a booth was quite high then, but now they prefer to sing in KTVs because prices have fallen and it is too noisy to sing at home.

It was a golden time in the KTV sector around 2006 with almost no space available. However, the KTV business then began to lose its luster, and many promotional methods were explored to attract customers. Many older people started to sing in KTVs in 2010.

"It is hard to make a profit on older people, sometimes we even sustain losses," Huang said. "They usually bring their own beverages and fruits, and seldom buy other things at KTV."

According to several KTVs, elderly customers are regularly seen now, especially during time periods with the bigger discounts, such as during the daytime. Except for some popular time periods such as evenings, two-thirds of the customers are senior citizens, while students make up the other third of daytime customers.

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