Editor’s Note: Live.ly and musical.ly, two apps that are popular for European and American teens, were actually created by a 50-person Chinese team based in Shanghai. This translated article talks about the company’s rise to popularity in the West, and why the co-founders do not feel the need to try to enter the Chinese market.
Shanghai-based app live.ly has quickly become a force to be reckoned with in the international battle for the live streaming market. Live.ly claimed the number one spot in the Apple App Store just days after its launch, and has been downloaded over 2 million times. The app has joined a market that includes tech giants like Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and Twitter.
The Rise to the Top
Live.ly is from the makers of musical.ly, an app that already has a large fan base and community (over 100 million users). The app was released on June 27 and quickly shot to number two in the “Photography and Video,” app category. In one day, it then beat out major apps like Google Map, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook Messager for daily downloads, rising to the number one spot in the App Store.
In its soft launch on June 17, the app was downloaded more than 500,000 times. Musical.ly and live.ly both revolve around American and European pop culture, but were developed by a 50-person Mainland Chinese team headquartered in Shanghai.
Musical.ly launched in April 2014, but did not get big until around April 2015, when the company made the app much more user-friendly. By July 6, the app was number two in the general U.S. App Store and number two in the “Photography and Video” category.
Since then, musical.ly has consistently been in the top 40 for all app categories and in the top 10 for “Photography and Video” apps. The app was downloaded almost as many times as Snapchat and Instagram.
Attracting Attention in the West
Musical.ly allows users to shoot their own video, accompanied by music from the app’s music library. Users can create a 15-second video. Lip-synching and fan-made music videos are popular on the app. Short comedy videos are popular as well.
A number of well-known YouTube stars drifted over to musical.ly bringing an army of fans along with them. Users also began to use the platform to record their own original music. The app became the first platform that openly challenged the dominance of YouTube.
Musical.ly co-founder Yang Luyu recently gave a presentation at TechCrunch Shanghai 2016. Yang Luyu said that 50% of musical.ly’s traffic comes from Europe, and 40% is from the United States. The platform has “almost no traffic” from China.
Why Not Market the App in China?
Yang Luyu was asked why musical.ly does it make it their priority to develop their presence in the Chinese. He pointed out that the company is small: only a dozen people work on operations. The Chinese market is currently beyond their grasp. He also said that European and American pop culture is a brand that attracts the global market. “We are now developing rapidly in Southeast Asia and South America. Choosing to start in the United States was a great starting point,” said Yang Luyu.
“Of course we have an advantage in China. For example, it’s easier to obtain a strong technical team in China. It would take a very long time to establish a team in the United States. The Chinese team works hard and we’ve developed very quickly,” said Yang Luyu.
Yang Luyu said that musical.ly users are generally younger than Facebook and Twitter users. Musical.ly users are mainly 13 to 20 years old. The app is designed for young people’s preferences and habits. At this stage, the app hopes to move more into social entertainment and focus on working with celebrities.
Musical.ly received $16.6 million in financing in August 2015. In May this year, TechCrunch reported that the company received approximately $100 million in a new round of financing. The company is valuated at $500 million. The most recent round of financing included GGV Capital, Qimeng Venture Partners, Greylock Partners and DCM.
Source: The Paper
Warning：The use of any news and articles published on eChinacities.com without written permission from eChinacities.com constitutes copyright infringement, and legal action can be taken.
Keywords: live.ly musical.ly
All comments are subject to moderation by eChinacities.com staff. Because we wish to encourage healthy and productive dialogue we ask that all comments remain polite, free of profanity or name calling, and relevant to the original post and subsequent discussion. Comments will not be deleted because of the viewpoints they express, only if the mode of expression itself is inappropriate.
Please login to add a comment. Click here to login immediately.