Wechat Testing Paid Subscription With Chinese Celebrity Chen Kun
Andrew CollinsSeptember 21, 2013
Chinese actor Chen Kun is testing a Wechat supported paid content subscription model which may have him cashing on on his swarm of followers.
Chen’s celebrity account, like many prolific stars featured across the platform include mostly updates, snip its of celebrity life, and the frequent promotions. However for the die hard fans screaming for more, can opt to pay a subscription fee that provides access to diary entries, music, private pictures, and daily greetings, as well as access to a social fans-only space where members can communicate and send stickers.
Membership is not cheap and the jury is out whether it will hit traction at all. Monthly fees start at 18 RMB (about $3), a three-month subscription costs 50 RMB ($7), six months costs 100 RMB ($14), and one year costs 168 RMB ($27).
Chen boasts over 1,000,000 fans across this channel so the numbers look attractive if he can at least attract 1% of his followers to paid subscribers. That could top 10,000,000 RMB, which is a pretty penny for any individual and well over what a typical movie star collects today in China. a month What to what end is this? How many ‘paid’ subscriptions is one fan willing to pay for?
The account is featured as a ‘service’ and not like most ‘official accounts’ which says it’s a coordinated attack – with all parties involved. We’re told the page features a special interface, tabs and opportunities to go deep with the star (sounds good). It’s of course a play to test monitization on the enormous Tencent owned platform.
Chen is not the first ‘service’ account, brands like Xiaomi, Starbucks, and Pacific Coffee, have each customized interfaces as WeChat “service” accounts with similar menu options. Chen’s page is currently the only paid subscription alternative.
My view: I don’t like the chances of this short form, for mobile paid subscription model working with such a talent. Although value exist with the Chinese celebrity, 1m followers on wechat is highly impressive, but having to pay to have more ‘close up’ and intimate content from one individual seems rich and in my opinion may not consider a worthy test. If it is supported with something offline, a taste of loyalty, a token of support or anything tangible (this helps in China) this would add far more value. Stay tuned as we follow this.
(techinasia was the primary source for this article)