The Franco-American app, which raised $28 million in October, recently received support from international artists such as The Weeknd and Snoop Dogg.
The first time that Romane, 12 years old, entered the world of musical mini-videos, it was in primary school, through the youth star application, TikTok. “I knew TikTok because everyone had it in my school, it was the current trend at that time. I do a lot of play-back videos, or I post gymnastics videos, a sport I practice,” explains the high school girl.
But apart from her TikTok account, where she has some 12,200 subscribers, Romane has also been seduced by Triller’s similar formats. Still unknown to the general public, this young tech startup, launched three years ago, is currently experiencing a big success.
With 60 million downloads registered, 16 million active users, and above all an organic growth of 500% last year, the Franco-American application could well cast a shadow over its rival.
The technology behind Triller is based on intelligent motion detection in all the images of the video, which is then ‘matched’ with the rhythm of the music.
After choosing your preferred music via the Triller database or by uploading it from your own library, you can choose to film yourself directly, or import a movie or your own video, to edit it on the app. Once the clip is ready, the user can broadcast it on the platform or on other social networks.
«Publish videos, make friends, become famous», announces the account creation confirmation email: the same refrain as TikTok.
“Many people see us as their competitor, but we prefer to play alongside them. The world of short video platforms is still very wide» argues Claude Crevelle, the man behind Triller.
For Triller, music comes first
To stand out from the Chinese giant and its 564 million monthly active users, Triller first intends to target an older audience (between 16 and 25 years), than TikTok, which is made up mostly of pre-teens. This is the reason why the Franco-American application is very much positioned on the side of urban music, rap, and electronic, which often dominates the international rankings of the most listened titles.
To legally offer the widest choice of musical titles, Triller has also signed agreements with major labels such as Sony Music, Universal Music Group, or Warner Music, where TikTok preferred to go for covers or remixes. The app then makes it possible to read titles in their entirety, generating revenue for the label and its artist. «Triller’s advantage is the fact that it first values music, unlike TikTok, where music serves video», analyses Yann-Mael Larher, an expert in digital transformation at the Sapiens Institut. A setting that has attracted many international artists who have since given their support and funding, such as The Weeknd, Snoop Dogg, or Kendrick Lamar.
Another difference with the Chinese application is the marketing strategy. Besides the promotion by the labels of some of their artists, where TikTok uses classical advertising, with a global monetization of the audience, Triller prefers to monetize via influencers and values creativity.
However, increasing the number of users can have a double-edged effect: “the more you gain in audience, the more you have to take into account rules that, if they are too heavy, risk driving this audience towards less restrictive alternatives” said Yann-Mael Larher. And here again, Triller has several strings to its bow to compete with its competitors. Its Franco-American origin allows it to be able to understand and adapt to the expectations of the Western market. Unlike its Chinese rival, it is also subject to stricter legislation, particularly in the area of child protection, which is a major consumer and the preferred target of these applications.