Karaoke literally means “an empty(kara) orchestra”. Karaoke equipment provides backing music without the vocals so you can sing along.
Singing along to the music like a professional singer can be a stress-reliever and contribute to communication between colleagues and family members.
Karaoke was first introduced in Japan about 30 years ago. Singing is something that everyone can easily enjoy, so karaoke has quickly gained popularity and is now an established part of popular culture. These days, more and more karaoke restaurants are offering a wider range of services, not only to enjoy singing, but also to serve delicious food in a luxurious space or to take a bath. In addition to technological advances, karaoke shops’ ingenuity and environmental innovations are pushing the industry forward.
One of the first major technological innovations was the display of song lyrics on a video monitor, as conventional karaoke machines were sound-only. Since then, videos have been added to match the mood of the songs, and more recently, karaoke machines have come out with technology that judges singing ability and compares it to thousands of people across the country and ranks them. Another popular secret may be that karaoke machines are equipped with a function that uses echoes and other sound effects to improve the singing voice.
Originally, karaoke was popularized mainly in taverns, but as the base of users expanded, karaoke machines and karaoke boxes for home use appeared, and now it has become a mainstream karaoke venue. At a karaoke box, you can sing your favorite songs in a room alone with your friends without worrying about what other people think of you.
The technological advances in karaoke have been remarkable. These days, advances in information technology have made it possible for online karaoke to emerge, and thanks to that, it is possible to enjoy singing the latest songs and sing along with people in different locations.
Most of the karaoke customers are young women, but they are popular with both men and women of all ages. When celebrating a special day at a company or a gathering of friends in Japan, it is common to go to karaoke afterwards.
The range of services offered at karaoke facilities is expanding, and many are devising new ways to entertain guests. Traditionally, it has been possible to order food and drink at most karaoke boxes, but the quality and variety of food has improved, and more and more karaoke boxes are offering special dishes made with carefully selected ingredients or offering buffet-style service.
These days, some of them offer thematically designed rooms and luxurious and lavish spaces, and some have footbaths and jetted tubs. Singing your favorite songs while soaking your feet in a warm footbath couldn’t be more relaxing. Other unique karaoke boxes boast DVD players, game consoles, home theater systems and nostalgic retro interiors. In addition, marketing is done in conjunction with other media such as manga and anime.