Leveraging Insights to Scale a Global Business | AppsFlyer
Success Story

musical.ly Leverages Deep Insights to Scale Their Global Business With AppsFlyer

  • #1 App
    60+ Countries


Founded in 2013, musical.ly has grown from a small start-up to one of the world’s largest global video community. Their two primary properties, musical.ly, a video social app and live.ly, a live broadcasting app, have both enjoyed phenomenal success with youth around the world.


In order to scale their growth engine, musical.ly needed to understand both what specific campaigns drove their new install growth, as well as their new user quality and down-funnel retention and engagement. Rather than simply collecting metrics, musical.ly sought to understand and shape their user behavior. For example, while some platforms seemed to have low CPIs and similar retention, their in-app user behavior differed dramatically. Musical.ly wanted to understand these user behavior patterns in order to build better engagement profiles that could then be used to optimize campaigns.

Additionally, whereas many marketers focus on measuring paid media, musical.ly recognized the importance of scalability and sustainability. They needed to understand the incremental lift of every marketing channel, from new media partners to earned and organic channels.


Following a thorough data quality and accuracy review, as well as consultation with industry peers, musical.ly selected AppsFlyer as their measurement provider.

  • Understanding Growth
    Using AppsFlyer, musical.ly mapped every step in their growth funnel across every channel. From paid growth through partners like Facebook and Google, to peer-invites, earned media and influencer marketing, musical.ly’s data yielded powerful insights into their user growth and customer journey.

    By integrating all of their marketing data sources, musical.ly was able to measure the impact of every marketing effort. For example, musical.ly associated spikes in regional organic installs with media and influencer coverage in their brand monitoring solution.

  • Putting Data to Work with Pivot and Custom Dashboards
    One of the biggest challenges growth teams face is data overload. Using AppsFlyer’s Pivot reports and Custom Dashboards, musical.ly organized their data by region, team and capability. This not only kept their teams focused on the right data and KPIs, but it helped to facilitate benchmarking and executive reporting across teams and regions quickly and efficiently.

    This unique setup quickly changed their internal team behavior; musical.ly’s marketing teams weren’t just collecting data, they were actively finding broader use for it. With accessible data, performance trends jumped off the screen. As a result, A/B testing became easier and faster. They began looking at KPIs more holistically. Furthermore, they began adapting and testing new, additional KPIs in each market. KPIs grew to include incremental install volume, cost, retention, quality of engagement, engagement persona, day 7 and day 30 retention and more. This holistic approach led to faster growth, improved LTV and marketing ROI.

    Pivot reports allowed teams to easily dive very deep into their data, clone, adapt and share their reports; looking at their data from every possible perspective and collaborating with ease.

  • Understanding Behavior, Activating Partners
    Using their cohort, retention and activity reports, musical.ly developed a series of KPIs that address their unique growth needs. For example, where other marketers tend to focus on high-level metrics like day 3 or day 7 retention, musical.ly found that data signals such as the number of videos created, videos viewed and the number of social connections for each new user, were key to predicting user LTV, building lookalike audiences and retargeting optimization.

    While the AppsFlyer dashboard quickly became their daily source of truth for growth and engagement insights, musical.ly further synced all of their AppsFlyer pre-conversion data with their BI team to develop deeper, holistic insights across their pre-install and post-conversion customer journeys.

    With these robust engagement profiles and models in place, musical.ly leveraged AppsFlyer’s integrations with all of their global partners to sync in-app engagement data and target audiences for regional activation, retargeting and optimization. In the past, syncing data with each partner required manual setup and management. However, with AppsFlyer, every data sync was fully pre-configured, taking under a minute to set up.


musical.ly and live.ly have become wildly popular, mainstream social platforms in the US and Europe. musical.ly climbed up to the number 1 position in the iOS App Store, including the US, Canada, UK, Germany, Brazil, and the Philippines. With incredible worldwide user growth and tens of millions of daily active users, musica.ly continues to invest in strategic, data-driven growth.


With AppsFlyer’s all-around data analysis, innovation and 24x7 professional support team, we make better decisions on our global growth strategy.
Claire Sun
Head of Business Growth