×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Musical.ly’s Live.ly Is Now Bigger Than Twitter’s Periscope on iOS (Study)

Live-streaming Live.ly app, just three months old, continues to build momentum

Three months after its launch, Live.ly, the live-streaming video app from Musical.ly, has captured nearly 4.6 million monthly active users on Apple’s iOS platform in the U.S. — making the teen-girl-skewing service bigger today on iPhones than Twitter’s Periscope, which has about 4.3 million on iOS, according to data from SurveyMonkey Intelligence.

Given that Musical.ly launched the Android version of Live.ly on Sept. 12, it looks poised to jump into the lead among standalone streaming apps. So far there hasn’t been enough usage of the Android version to build a statistically accurate sample, according to SurveyMonkey marketing manager Mike Sonders. Periscope has 1.2 million monthly active users on Android.

[UPDATE, Oct. 3: Periscope co-founder and CEO Kayvon Beykpour said in a tweet that the SurveyMonkey Intelligence numbers are “not even in the realm of accurate,” but he declined to provide any figures for Periscope’s monthly active unique users. In March 2016, Twitter claimed that over 200 million broadcasts had been created on Periscope since the app launched a year earlier and that nearly 1 million hours of live video are watched every day on iOS and Android.]

Live.ly’s quick uptake has come virtually entirely from Musical.ly’s base of 100 million-plus users of its flagship lip-syncing sharing app. The company made a splash a VidCon in July to introduce the new app, which lets anyone broadcast live video from their smartphone (a la Periscope).

Of apps released in the past six months on both iOS and Android, only Pokemon Go has garnered more monthly active users — with more than 31 million — than Live.ly in the U.S., according to Survey Monkey Intelligence. Besides steering Musical.ly fans to the app, Live.ly has been helped by early adopters including Jason Derulo, Cameron Dallas and Musical.ly star Jacob Sartorius.

SurveyMonkey Intelligence collects its data from a panel of over 1.5 million iOS and Android smartphone users, designed to be statistically representative of smartphone users in the U.S., who have agreed to let the company aggregate their app usage.

Live.ly has room to grow: So far, only 33% of Musical.ly users also use the Livel.ly app, according to SurveyMonkey. (The research firm does not track Facebook Live usage, because it’s not a separate app, and Facebook has not disclosed overall usage metrics for live-streaming on its platform.)

Another player in the live-streaming race, YouNow, has about 1.4 million monthly active users on iOS. YouNow may have lost share with the rise of Live.ly especially biggest given the biggest user cohort for both services is white teenage girls, according to SurveyMonkey.

Still, Live.ly faces challenges, including whether it can expand its user base beyond the teen-girl segment where it’s proved enormously popular. And it’s worth noting that Live.ly churn rates have been fairly high: An average of about 27% of the app’s users in any given week will not show up the following week. On the other hand, Periscope’s comparable churn rate is 55% and YouNow is about 50%) on iOS.

Since its initial launch, the iOS version of Live.ly has added a “virtual gift system” that lets users purchase animated stickers for their favorite broadcasters, and that revenue is being shared with creators, according to the company.

Live.ly average revenue per daily active user from in-app purchases is 0.8 cents, according to SurveyMonkey Intelligence. That’s better than Musical.ly’s 0.3 cents, but both of those are far short of YouNow, which earns 11.5 cents per daily active user. Periscope, for now, doesn’t offer in-app purchases but in early September, Twitter rolled out the first program for ad-sponsored live-streams with former tennis pro Andy Roddick.

Musical.ly was founded in 2014 by friends Alex Zhu and Luyu Yang. Musical.ly, based in Shanghai with U.S. offices in San Francisco, has raised about $16 million from investors including GGV Capital and Greylock Partners and is seeking to raise a $100 million round, according to TechCrunch.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Gabrielle Carteris

    SAG-AFTRA Urges Gavin Newsom to Sign Law Punishing 'Deep Fake' Videos

    SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White is urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign legislation that institutes penalties for nonconsensual digital sexually explicit videos, also known as “deep fakes.” The legislation, Assembly Bill 602, targets companies and individuals who create and distribute the videos in California without the consent of the individual being depicted. “We urge Gov. [...]

  • Facebook Portal logo

    Facebook Is Launching a Portal TV Device: Here’s What We Know

    Facebook is getting ready to launch a TV streaming device in time for the holiday season, Variety has been able to confirm with multiple sources familiar with the company’s plans. The new streaming hardware will be part of the company’s Portal family of devices, featuring a camera, and combining video chatting with TV viewing and [...]

  • MoviePass card

    MoviePass Shuts Down, With Parent Company Citing Failure to Raise Funds

    MoviePass, the long-struggling theater subscription service, finally appears to be down for the count. On Friday, MoviePass notified remaining subscribers that it would be shutting down the service effective Sept. 14, 2019, because “its efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have not been successful to date,” parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics announced. “The company is continuing [...]

  • Disney Plus - Full Lineup

    How to Browse the Disney Plus Catalog the Company Is Testing in the Netherlands

    Disney began testing its Disney Plus streaming service in the Netherlands this week. Consumers in the U.S. will have to wait until November 12 to get access to the service, but European streaming aggregator JustWatch already makes it possible to browse the catalog available during this beta test. JustWatch is one of a number of [...]

  • JoJo Siwa'The Angry Birds Movie 2'

    Nickelodeon Star JoJo Siwa Gets Her Own Dance-Tour Mobile Game (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fans of JoJo Siwa will be able to join the teen influencer’s dance squad on stage — virtually — in a new mobile game. In “JoJo Siwa — Live to Dance,” players will become part of the Nickelodon and YouTube star’s worldwide tour on her professional dance team and experience what it’s like to be [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content