YY Inc. (YY) made a big move on Friday, up 9% to a new 52-week high and it's up again today in early trading. Since YY may not be familiar to many people in the US, we thought this would be a good opportunity to provide some color on what YY does and what has been driving the stock higher in recent months.
YY Inc., which made its IPO debut in November 2012, is a China-based live streaming platform that enables users to interact in live online group activities through voice, text and video. YY also helps users create groups of varying sizes to participate in a wide range of online activities, including music shows, online games, dating shows, live game broadcasting and e-learning.
The company started with online games in 2005, but has gradually expanded into music and entertainment, live game broadcasting and online dating. It also operates in non-entertainment categories such as education and finance. Users host and participate in these channels, creating their own content to share with other users. Almost all content on the YY platform is user-generated. YY has grown into a multifaceted online social entertainment platform, with more than 10 million channels and 122 million monthly active users.
Its primary live streaming platforms are YY Live and Huya broadcasting. In June 2016, the company revamped its online music and entertainment live streaming services to YY Live. Users of YY Live may enjoy the live streaming services on YY Live website, YY Client or YY Live APP and stream content which is typically made up of music and dance shows, talk shows, outdoor activities, sports, anime and games. In November 2014, YY launched Huya broadcasting, with a focus on livestream of game playthroughs. Huya broadcasting has become a comprehensive live streaming platform covering online games, console games, mobile games, entertainments, sports and etc. Users of Huya broadcasting may access content on Huya through Huya website, YY Client or Huya APP.
Its core product, YY Client, enables users to engage in live streaming online. YY Client provides access to user-created online social activities groups, which the company refers to as channels. YY Client is compatible with most internet-enabled systems, including PCs and mobile interfaces. YY Client is available to download for free.
According to its website, user behavior evolves and new trends emerge over time. Many users use YY to socialize and make friends, while some have turned YY into a virtual stage to showcase their singing talent or share their knowledge and expertise. To address the constantly evolving user needs, YY has developed several products that help grouping users and channels according to their share interests.
In its Q1 report in mid-May, YY said that its live streaming business continued to witness significant growth, with revenue increasing by 37.4% YoY to US$329.3 mln, driven by the robust growth in its live streaming revenue with strength in both YY Live and Huya broadcasting. Importantly, its mobile live streaming MAUs increased by 11.8% sequentially, reaching 62.6 million in Q1, and its total number of live streaming paying users increased by 66% YoY to 5.88 mln. YY generates revenue from live streaming, online games and membership services.
Looking ahead, YY says it will continue to focus on expanding the product and content offerings across its platforms and enhancing its content ecosystem. As the leading live streaming platform in China, YY is confident that it has what it takes to further expand its market share in this growing industry.