• Musical.ly has gained 100M users in two years as Vine declined
  • It's become popular with young in North and South America, Europe, Asia - Japan too
  • Brands are starting to use it for areas like influencer marketing

The short video space is looking for a new king.

Vine saw a 21% drop in brand use from the first quarter of 2015 to the third, and was the destination of only 4% of top 40 brands' videos during that time. From January to May of this year, it's seen 52% of its influencers quit the network altogether. With Vine not bearing the fruit it once did, new players are starting to ripen.

Enter Musical.ly.

The network, started in 2014 with offices in San Francisco and Shanghai, lets users create 15 second, auto-repeating vertical videos that overlay with music. While lip-sync and dance videos are commonly seen, there are many other types that resemble what's seen on Vine, such as comedy sketches and stop-motion. With over 100 million users worldwide (up more than 9-fold from a year ago) and 10 million who use it daily, this rapidly growing network just could be the new Vine.

Musical.ly influencer, @babyariel. She has over 13.6 million followers and has received more than half a billion likes on her content. Yes, with a b. It's also enabled her to launch a lipstick line.

Musical.ly influencer, @babyariel. She has over 13.6 million followers and has received more than half a billion likes on her content. Yes, with a b. It's also enabled her to launch a lipstick line.

Musical.ly allows users (aka Musers) to create fun video content based around music. It has been consistently around the top 50 apps on the US App Store for months, and has been amassing users around the world.

The nature of the network currently attracts a very young demographic, with the majority being in elementary to high school. This is because of three reasons:

1. Music has always been important to the young, and discovering new music (more specifically its hook) now takes place on streaming services and apps.

2. This demographic isn't growing up in the MTV-era of highly produced music videos being shown on TV, but in the era where eyes are on social media influencers.

3. They have been mobile-first (or even mobile-only) since birth, producing and consuming everything in the palms of their hands.

About the app.

The app has 4 main screens, with different sections within each of them.

(Yeah I know, I'm not that popular here 😅 )

(Yeah I know, I'm not that popular here 😅 )

While videos created outside of the app can be uploaded, most users create them from within the app due to the accessibility of useful tools. The ability to speed up or slow down the song and add filters are just a couple of them.

Musical.ly influencer, @theylovearii. She has 5.58 million followers, and this post of hers has garnered about 706k likes and more than 12k comments.

This video by @mya5 was featured on Musical.ly and got over 175k likes and more than 1,600 comments.

When videos are viewed in the app, they see this screen.

When videos are viewed in the app, they see this screen.

One of Musical.ly's popular features is the duet feature, where you can create a video and mash it up with another user's for that song. Because even big, performing artists have accounts, it's possible for users to create a duet with them.

There are also challenges held regularly, encouraging users to create content around a specific theme. Some of them are for promotions. Musical artist Flo Rida recently held the "Zillionaire Challenge" in which he gave users a sneak peak of his new song so they could create their own video with it and use the hashtag for a chance to be featured. 

Musical artist Ariana Grande has videos of her lipsyncing to her songs so that users can create duet videos with it.

Muser @jericho_vallano created this cute video with his mom for the Mother's Day challenge, which got more than 170k likes.

Due to the fun vibe of the network and the masses of young, engaged users on it, brands have started to try to reach them. CocaCola for one, summoned musical artist Jason Derulo to get users to create videos with the hashtag #ShareACoke, where he'd choose ones to feature. 

It's in Japan, too.

The US may be Musical.ly's biggest market, but Japan is no stranger to Musers. There have been Japanese users steadily building their fan base on Musical.ly while the majority may not have realized a market shift was starting to take place. 

Muser @seika__0420 has a lot of fun solo videos as well as ones with friends, and has a growing following of more than 14k. 

Muser @k.ogawa created this video for the Post It challenge, and got over 93k likes and more than 500 comments on it.

No signs of stopping.

Musical.ly has exploded onto the scene in such a short time amassing an enormous amount of users. It has more capabilities than similar apps like Dubsmash, has users even creating businesses from it and shows no signs of slowing down. Because of all this, brands are now starting to show serious interest in it. The network also released a livestreaming app as well, Live.ly, in June and with basically no promotion, the Musical.ly user base made it skyrocket up the App Store charts and overshadow similar offerings by YouTube and Tumblr. 

The opportunity for companies to create entertaining, short videos around music is big. Think about channels like Tastemade, for example, and what they did for recipes and cooking. And with a growing number of influencers on the network putting videos out in front of huge followings, this just may be the next big platform for influencer marketing. 

Because more and more people are flocking to the network, it's definitely one to keep an eye on. Musical.ly just could hit the right note for your future campaign.


via TAM
We help businesses bridge to and from Japan via social.

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