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UPDATE November 16, 2017 — In the past year, Musical.ly’s growth has continued at an explosive rate. The mobile app hit the 200 million mark for registered users, quadrupled its daily active users, and was acquired by Chinese technology company Bytedance for close to a billion dollars. In light of recent news and announcements, we’ve updated the following stats with new figures where available, while preserving the original text immediately below updated sections.
The hottest mobile app to hit the social media scene since Snapchat, Musical.ly has amassed 80M registered users (including a host of new social media stars) and earned a valuation of $500M by allowing users to create and share 15-second livestreaming music videos. Top content creators have even perfected an engaging style unique to Musical.ly, in which fast camera movements and intricate choreography accompany each song (see examples below).
For marketers, the growth of livestreaming video content and the recent influx of livestreaming video apps and platforms (including Facebook Live, Periscope, Livel.ly, YouNow, and Twitch) is indicative of a growing digital video trend. Audiences are now gravitating to the type of “in-the-moment” content that gave way to Snapchat’s rise, and innovative brands must adapt by creating their own livestreaming content or partnering with social media influencers who have already established a large social following on Musical.ly and other popular platforms.
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With over 10M followers, “muser” (the name given to Musical.ly creators) Baby Ariel is the most visible social media star on the platform today (Tech Insider).
With nearly one-fifth of marketers planning to invest in livestreaming video ads in the next six months (eMarketer), Musical.ly now represents one of the best new ways to reach young, impressionable audiences. To give brands an idea of Musical.ly’s growth and advertising potential, we’ve compiled a list of noteworthy statistics that marketers should know in 2016:
UPDATE 11-16-2017 — Earlier this week, Musical.ly was acquired by Bytedance, a Chinese technology company. The purchase price was not disclosed but was reported to be between $800 million and $1 billion, significantly higher than its May 2016 valuation of $500 million.
After a reported $100M fundraising round in May 2016, the livestreaming music app Musical.ly is now valued at around $500M—impressive for a network that has only existed since Fall 2014 (TechCrunch). To put Musical.ly’s valuation in perspective, Facebook was recently valued at $350B (CNN), YouTube at $77B (Money Nation), Instagram at $50B (PetaPixel), and Snapchat at $20B (TechCrunch), though all of these platforms were launch in 2011 or before.
Related Post: The 10 Top Social Media Marketing Statistics In 2016
UPDATE 11-16-2017 — Last December, Musical.ly announced that it hit 40 million daily active users (DAUs). While the platform hasn’t disclosed DAUs since, the fact that this figure quadrupled in the second half of 2016 illustrates Musical.ly’s rapid growth trajectory.
Musical.ly is the fastest growing app today, especially among teen social media users. According to Business Insider, Musical.ly now has around 10M daily active users (DAU), which doesn’t sound impressive compared to Instagram’s 300M daily active users or Snapchat’s 150M DAU, however like Snapchat, Musical.ly’s short streaming video format means users stay engaged, and this engagement offers marketers a way to reach young audiences (especially through partnerships with Musical.ly’s social media stars).
UPDATE 11-16-2017 — As of May 2017, Musical.ly claims over 200 million registered users. Periscope, on the other hand, has not announced an updated figure for registered users since 2015. As Musical.ly’s user base continues to grow, it will continue to distance itself from rival Periscope while catching up to larger social platforms.
Nearly 100M users have signed up to create and share music videos on Musical.ly, a staggering 40M per year when calculated linearly (PR Newswire). Musical.ly has already surpassed livestreaming rival Periscope (which claims 10M registered users, according to Fortune) and, at this growth rate, will easily catch up with social media heavyweights like Snapchat and Instagram in the coming years.
Related Post: 10 Social Media Stats & Trends To Know For 2017
UPDATE 11-16-2017 — As of May 2017, Musical.ly continues to be tremendously popular in the United States. 49% of all Musical.ly usage occurs in the U.S., making it one of the most successful Chinese mobile apps in the U.S. market.
In July 2015, less than a year after its release, Musical.ly hit No. 1 at the iTunes app store (Business Insider). Since then, Musical.ly has never fallen out of the top 40 (calculated by downloads), and an intelligence report by Survey Monkey shows that it is within the top 30 apps in the United States per monthly active users (MAU). This figure is especially notable considering that the top of the list is perpetually dominated by social media staples like Facebook, Facebook Messager, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn (CIO).
Though Musical.ly is very much a global network (it was developed and launched in Shanghai), the lip-syncing music video app now claims 17.5M U.S. users (calculated by monthly active users) and is larger than Vine, Flipagram, Dubsmash, and Triller (Survey Monkey).
Compared to other mobile apps in the category, Musical.ly has a significant lead in terms of mobile app downloads per day. According to Survey Monkey’s analysis, Musical.ly now averages 61K downloads each day. Assuming that this download rate continues (and those who download the app remain on the network), Musical.ly will add over 20M new users annually and easily surpass 100M users by the end of 2017.
UPDATE 11-16-2017 — As of May 2017, 75% of Musical.ly users are female. Additionally, 64% of its users are under the age of 24. Musical.ly continues to be an excellent way to reach young, female skewing audiences.
A recent study found that a large majority (69%) of Musical.ly users are female, continuing the trend that we’ve seen on Instagram (which is 58% women, according to The Atlantic) and Snapchat (Adweek). The survey also discovered that 60% of the mobile app’s users are under the age of 30, making Musical.ly one of the youngest new social media platforms.
Musical.ly’s livestreaming format and engaging content encourage users to visit the app often. According to a survey of 1M Musical.ly users, the mobile app’s monthly engagement ratio (based on the percentage of an app’s total audience that use it on any given day) is 43%. This figure puts Musical.ly’s engagement ratio slightly behind apps like Facebook, which claims a monthly engagement ratio of 66% (Statista), and Instagram, which enjoys a 60% engagement rate (Instagram).
One of the most noteworthy mobile app statistics for Musical.ly is the 11.5 minutes users spend creating and watching content on the app each day (Survey Monkey). Again, though the amount of time is only about half what users spend on Snapchat (19 minutes per day) and Instagram (20 minutes per day) and far less than the time users spend on Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram combined (an estimated 50 minutes each day, according to the New York Times), 11.5 minutes is still impressive, considering Musical.ly’s young audience.
One survey revealed that Musical.ly users visited the app 12 of the 31 days in August 2016, or slightly more than once every three days. Should Musical.ly continue on its current growth trajectory, it’s reasonable to assume that the mobile app’s DAUs will increase as more content becomes available and more social media stars begin creating content for Musical.ly audiences.