Chinese Podcast Marketing: An Introduction to Lizhi FM

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 12:11

Very few clients come to us looking to advertise on niche platforms. They know about Weibo and about WeChat, which are great. But a good portion of our day-to-day Chinese social marketing work is actually done on platforms that the Western marketer has never heard about.

One of those is Lizhi FM, a Chinese podcast platform. It’s a “radio app” for recording, editing, uploading, storing, listening, and downloading audio. Here I'll give you a brief introduction to it.

People can set up their own radio channels to make and upload recordings. It’s quite simple and convenient.


There are various channels, like Music, News, Poetry, Talk Shows, Foreign Languages, etc., on Lizhi FM. You can listen to whatever you like. Lizhi also has a WeChat public account (WeChat ID: lizhifm) for users to subscribe to, where you can really get some good recommendations for great channels.

WeChat QR-Code

Web radio marketing is suitable for companies in industries related to entertainment (music, film, talk shows), language training, fashion.

If you search for this kind of podcast platform in the App Store, you can easily find some similar apps, such as Himalaya FM and Qingting FM. Himalaya FM is Lizhi’s largest competitor, and it was released before Lizhi and has a larger number of users. But as far as we are concerned, Lizhi has better user experience and content quality.

2016 is a very important and challenging year for Lizhi FM. Due to its strategic cooperation with Hunan Satellite TV, Lizhi managed to be the one and only official radio platform for one of the hottest TV shows, “I’m a Singer,” Season 4.

To see the channel on Lizhi, click here.

You can see this TV show banner is very prominent on Lizhi’s official website, and Lizhi generated a lot of advance publicity on Weibo and WeChat, which has made both this TV show and Lizhi FM very popular right now.

On the very first night this show was on TV, Lizhi FM actually jumped up to first place in the overall download list in the App Store.

With its own platform for interactive features, Lizhi FM planned to launch the "I'm a Singer 4 Popular List" warm-up activity, which led to wide dissemination by social media, and many of their fans voted for their favorite "singer". The first day the activity went online, they received more than 200,000 votes. Lizhi FM official Weibo retweeted this post as well as “I’m a Singer” from the official Weibo. This activity is an extra highlight of this show and brings continuous attention to both sides.

Lizhi WeChat sends push messages about “I’m a Singer” each week.


Synotrip is a free platform for English-speaking guides/drivers/interpreters, aiming to provide tour information and to help tourists and tour guides get in touch with each other directly. It’s run by the Nanjing Marketing Group team.

We set up a channel on Lizhi FM a couple of months ago and published about 16 episodes there. We have 81 subscribers, 7,000+ listens and 55 comments already, and many of our tour guides seem to like this new kind of audio platform.

We use a very conversational and “freestyle” tone to simply let people know what’s going on with Synotrip and get to know the Synotrip team much better, feel connected to us, and have fun listening to our program. It’s the purpose of Nanjing Marketing Group and Synotrip to help connect people, and audio creates a deeper emotional connection than text can. We hope listeners feel like they know us.

Of course, we’re getting more and more of their support and encouragement as well. It’s good for brand promotion and user interaction.

Thanks to the prevalence of apps, people can easily listen to all kinds of radio channels simply by using their smartphones. Radio might not be the first choice for conventional marketing, but you can’t ignore its increasing influence in social marketing.





Is it possible for a foreigner outside China to make money selling podcasts on Lizhi?

Yes, of course. There are a bunch of English talkshow channels on Lizhi, which often invite foreign native English speakers to be their guest-host. And the listeners will appreciate it if you can speak a little bit Chinese too.

Stephanie, is there a payment subscription model for Lizhi?

Like, can listeners subscribe to monthly payment plans to get access to a certain channel?


The subscription to any channels on Lizhi is total free. But I did see some English training channels using this platform to advertise for their online English courses and WeChat subscription accounts.

Right now it's still not possible to run a paid subscription model on Lizhi. But we'll be watching this and update.

How to registration to this app????

Registration is pretty simple as long as you have a Chinese SIM card. All you have to do is downloading the app and submitting your phone number. 

Note you cannot upload previously recorded files. All the content you want to publish must be recorded using the app.

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