Less than two weeks after making its debut, livestreaming platform Live.ly has surpassed two million downloads.
Live.ly benefited from by a conspicuous presence at VidCon in Anaheim, which kicked off on June 23, the same day the app debuted. But the bigger factor driving it to number one in the iTunes App Store in eight countries shortly after release was likely its sister platform Musical.ly, a Shanghai-based video social network with over 100 million users.
Launched in October 2014 by Alex Zhu and Luyu Yang, Musical.ly enables users to post 15 seconds or less of recorded video singing, dancing, comedy and lip-syncing and share them across social channels. The app has hit #1 in the iOS App Store for free apps in 20 countries, and the company claims that more than half of U.S. teens are users.
Musical.ly has attracted celebrity users including Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Meghan Trainor and Jason Derulo, and it recently partnered with ABC’s “Good Morning America” on its annual summer concert series. It has also launched some of it own stars, including Ariel Martin (@babyariel), who is the most popular user on the platform, with 11 million fans.
Since its debut, Live.ly has added new features, including real-time reward mechanisms, follower count and the just-released real-time reward mechanism “best fan forever,” designed to increase viewer engagement rates. In the coming weeks, Live.ly will introduce a monetization scheme that will enable users to buy digital gifts — in the form of animated stickers — for their favorite broadcasters.
According to Variety, Live.ly will roll-out an Android version of the app in the next two months, and TechCrunch reports that parent company Musical.ly is currently putting together a $100 million funding round that will give it a $500 million valuation.