Between Facebook Live and Twitter’s Periscope, the most popular live-streaming apps are owned by multi-billion dollar tech giants. So how is it that an independent live-broadcast app has been sitting at the top of the App Store’s top free downloads list?
Live.ly publicly launched on Friday (June 24) and quickly took the #1 free app spot, according to data from app analytics site App Annie.
The app is a spin off of musical.ly, the Shanghai-based app that lets you create short music videos and has been exploding in popularity. Since it launched in October 2014, the app has attracted more than 95 million users, who’s average age is between 13-20 years old, musical.ly told Quartz. The company is in talks to raise $100 million at a $500 million valuation, according to TechCrunch.
Instead of baking the live streaming feature into musical.ly, the company decided to unbundle the product into a separate, but focused app. Variety writes that live.ly “began trending instantly despite zero promotion because of the word of mouth from musical.ly’s rabid user base.”
Musical.ly says live.ly is already nearing 500,000 downloads.
By piggybacking off musical.ly’s popularity, live.ly has leapfrogged other live-stream products. YouTube added live streaming capabilities for their users in the past week, while Tumblr added support for live streams for YouTube and other live streaming services (though not live.ly). Despite the big announcements, Variety says musical.ly’s offering was the talk of the town at VidCon, an annual conference for digital media stars.