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The app has been seeing growth in both metros as well as Tier II and Tier III cities

Why Likee is betting big on movie marketing

The app has been seeing growth in both metros as well as Tier II and Tier III cities
  • Likee is increasingly finding users in Tier II and Tier III cities, giving it a diverse audience base.
  • Movies have seen this as an opportunity and have worked with the platform to reach out to an engaged audience.
  • The platform plans to work more closely with production houses in 2020.

Global short video creation platform Likee has had an interesting year in India in 2019. While it launched in the country in 2017, last year saw India India become one of the most significant markets for the platform whose parent company is Singapore-based Bigo Technology.

The year 2019 was exciting for Likee for many reasons, shares Mike Ong, Vice President, BIGO Technology. “We have been reported among the top 10 most downloaded apps globally, leaving behind many popular apps. We have also been recognized as the No 1 breakout app, as per App Annie year-end report on app trends for 2019. We are clocking close to 173% YoY growth globally, and aim to become the most downloaded short video platform in 2020. (According to the JOYY earning report Third Quarter 2019, the MAU of Likee exceeded 100.2 million, which increased by 413.4% year over year. The MAU of IMO’s embedded Likee service reached 50.2 million. Also, Likee was ranked as the No 6 Top Apps throughout 2019 and No. 7 of the Overall Worldwide downloads in Q4 of 2019 according to Sensor Tower),” says Ong.

The app has been seeing growth in both metros as well as Tier II and Tier III cities. And it is perhaps this variety of audience on its platform that helped it crack movie marketing.

The movie marketing boost

Last year, a lot of prominent Bollywood releases launched their campaigns on Likee and Ong believes that there lies a huge opportunity for Bollywood and regional production houses to promote their movies or music albums on the platform.

“Likee has evolved to be the most favoured platform for Bollywood and regional production houses to promote their movies or music albums through innovative campaigns and integrations. Last year, we saw integrations from major production houses including Salman Khan Films, Fox Star Studios, T-Series, Desi Melodies, that promoted their projects on our platform.”

“Movies and Music production houses are leaning largely towards Likee to promote their projects. Likee has been a digital partner to multiple Bollywood, and regional cinema projects. With collaborations from regional markets as well, we were able to cultivate a unique bond between cinema and the youth of India,” says Ong.

Sharing some stats around how some of these movies were able to get really good engagement, Ong added, “Given the wide reach of our platform across India, each project garnered millions of views. Various popular movies of 2019 such as Chhichhore, Dabangg 3, Panipat, Housefull 4, among others were promoted on Likee with unique challenges garnering over 300 million views each. Likee’s collaboration with Dabangg 3 as the digital partner for the campaign #HudHudDabangg raked over 362 million views, #Dabangg3 raked over 610 million views whereas #TheBalaChallenge for Housefull 4 garnered more than 682million views.” Some other production houses like T-series, TVF’s The Screen Patti, VYRL Originals, VehliJanta Records (VJR) also partnered with Likee over the course of the year. Another campaign for the movie The Zoya Factor that was launched to promote the movie got over 812 million views.

Seeing the positive response on movie-related campaigns, the platform is confident that 2020 will see them engage with more movies. “In 2020, we aim to lead the sector with substantial integrations from Bollywood and regional production houses and to be the preferred platform for promotional collaborations,” adds Ong.

Advertising for revenue

Besides live streaming revenues, commercial advertising has become one of the most important means of revenue growth for Likee. Explains Ong, “On the one hand, display ads have been tested in Likee, which is aiming to make ads become part of our quality content. On the other hand, we provide innovative solutions for clients, such as hashtag challenge and branded effects, enabling our users to participate in customized branding campaigns to increase our clients’ brand awareness and achieve user engagement. In the meanwhile, we will explore more commercial scenarios like in-app e-commerce.”

Likee has also integrated with the Facebook Audience Network and Google Adx&Admob, enabling global clients to buy the platform’s inventory through Facebook and Google. Meanwhile, they have also started direct sales globally for branding clients, and has worked with gaming, 3C (Computer/Communication/Consumer electronics) and FMCG clients since Q4,2019.

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