Will the short Music Video be a flash in the pan?

In 2016, the most powerful social platform in China was undoubtedly the live broadcasting platform, but in 2017, it is short MV which has more trills and is thus more magical that plays the key role.

In march of this year, Tik Tok, an UGC short video platform subordinated to Headline Today, suddenly became quite popular half year after its establishment. Yunpeng Yue, an actor who has thirteen million followers on Weibo, liked a short video of how a female cyber celebrity imitates him produced on Tik Tok. The girl looks quite like Yue, and her funny imitation on Tik Tok triggered much interest among the public.

Within half a year, Tik Tok quickly became a 2017 phenomenal short video APP. Its daily video display volume exceeds one billion and daily live users exceeds one million. According to a report released in June by Questmobile, a third-party agency, Tik Tok relying on 15-second short video has become top 10 application in short video industry.

In addition to Tik Tok, a large wave of similar MV APPs have risen in China. Musical. Ly, a Chinese app which has over 100 million users in the American market, announced in March that it decided to officially return to China and changed its name to “Muse” in June. While Yixia company which owned Miaopai, Yizhibo also launched a new short MV product called Shaker.

The Mobile Internet 2017 Q2 Summer Report released by QuestMobile shows that the number of short video APP users alone has close to 200 million, and its rising trend has exceeded the video industry as a whole.

But behind the boom are often fatal worries. In the tide of the mobile Internet products, countless faddish products rapidly rise and decline. Similar concerns also apply to Tik Tok and its peers. In the future, will they become a new generation of “a flash in the pan” or is there any method that can help them make breakthroughs?


The irritation of  muse

Musical. Ly is an early player in the field of music short video. As early as July 2014, Musical. Ly was launched in the United States. In July 2015, it surpasses Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and ranked the top on the USA iOS.

It is a short video app emphasizing music elements. Users can shoot a video first, and then match it with music in the music library, so as to quickly create 15-second MV. And then users could share this interesting video with their friends.

“Musical. Ly is not purely short video tool. One of our biggest strategies for the whole product is social first.” Luyu Yang said.

(#Don’t Judge challenge)

Yoyo Liu, a senior content strategy manager of Musical.ly, has analyzed the strategy social communities of over 200 million users adopt: first, cultivate community attitudes and build brand effect. Activities it operates should be interesting while have positive value orientation, and meanwhile the participation threshold should be low; Second, use the discovery mechanism and create cyber celebrity network. Musical.ly stresses “not to create cyber celebrity but only to discover these celebrities”. It relies on operators’ distribution mechanism. In the homepage, Leaderboard, which is similar with popular list, could recommend the most quality ones to users. Third, have users to manage it. Musical.ly has very simple user management. On the content, it promotes and encourages users to do their original activities, while Musical.ly just “discovers” popular content. Through promoting activities suiting its value, both users and other people could know the content.

Yet its success in the USA can hardly be replicated in China.

Since March this year, the Muse has been available in China for nearly half a year, but its return journey has not been as smooth as its vigorous development abroad. Cheetah Lab compared Muse and Tik Tok based on the permeability of the android users. While no matter the number of active users or installation, Muse falls far behind Tik Tok in China.

In the United States, the timing and the instrumental attributes of Musical.ly help it quickly complete the original accumulation of users, laying the foundation for social operations in the future. While when it returns China, the instrumental attributes among short MV apps are quite similar. Without initial traffic flow and numerous celebrities’ participation, it is difficult to complete the cold start.

Besides, Chinese users are not used to organizing activities by themselves. So, if everything follows the American “route”, Muse can hardly establish a similar community atmosphere in China.

In the absence of support platforms, even if this independent platform can break out in short term, it is very difficult for it to have users settled  after the outbreak or to have an effective social relations and social atmosphere.


“Intruder” Tik Tok

As a contrast, Tik Tok subordinated to Headlines Today is clearly competing on home field.

In September 2016, Headlines Today announced to put in one billion yuan for the short video. In February, Headlines Today acquired Flipagram, a North American mobile video platform. On May 16th, Headlines Today put another one billion yuan in to the short video platform “Huoshan Video” for subsidizing the UGC short video.

When user growth reached certain bottlenecks, Headlines Today has been seeking methods to build barriers beyond technology. So far, their solution is to establish social network on the platform. While Tik Tok targets at young people in large cities that are not covered by Kuaishou. They want to build is a youth community with pop culture orientation.

For this purpose, Tik Tok at the beginning makes AI algorithms and recommended based on user content. In addition, Tik Tok at an early age also introduced some talents and college students to guide the community atmosphere and product tonality. Later on, it obviously adopted the tactic of celebrity.

(Lu Han in Tik Tok)

For a product that goes online for about a year, the key of its cold start time is how to quickly become the top on the large scale. And this top is the star with a huge flow. However, this approach may be inconsistent with the theory of social “decentralization”. And in the late phase of star effect, what the product really needs to consider is still how to have users settle there. And at that time, KOL starts to play its role.


Huangka, it doesn’t matter to be the flash in the pan

In China, people are used to comparing Weibo with Twitter, and of course, they also compare their short video apps.

Yixia Technology was established in August 2011. Sina Weibo played a role in its B, C, D and E rounds. Recently, Huangka subordinated to Yixia Technology also appears in the conspicuous position on Weibo.

In Huangka, we can use shot cut, pause and other shooting techniques to create short music video through the techniques of modeling, angle and scene transformation.

Kun Han, the CEO of Yixia Technology, told Tosansheng that he didn’t worry Huangka would be a flash in the pan. “We are constantly innovating new products and have users to settle into Miaopai. So as for our new products, we hope its popularity could last as long as possible. But the length doesn’t matter. What we are doing is a new idea, new integration point. And all of these would settle in Miaopai and thus Miaopai could be a super product. This is our dream.”

And it also pushes the competition among music short videos to the higher level, the platform level.


This article originally appeared in iheima and was translated by Pandaily.

Click here to read the original Chinese article.