Popular teen app Musical.ly sells for reported $800 mil

11 November, 2017, 02:09 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • Popular teen app Musical.ly sells for reported $800 mil

Lip-sync app Musical.ly has been scooped up by Beijing ByteDance Technology Co., or simply ByteDance, the Chinese startup behind news site Jinri Toutiao, the company announced on Friday. According to Bloomberg, the company is valued at more than $20 billion, and its flagship product, Jinri Toutiao ("Today's Headlines"), is a popular news and video aggregator with 120 million daily active users.

Toutiao's purchase of Flipagram, Musical.ly's primary rival in the self-shot-video-accompanied-by-music market, gives Bytedance dominance in soundtracks to personal videos.

Last year, it rolled out a live-streaming app called Live.ly.

Musical.ly, which lets users take videos of themselves lip-synching to songs, launched in 2014.

"Musical.ly will continue to operate as an independent platform, integrating Bytedance's global leading AI technology and leveraging its reach in China and key markets across Asia to enhance Musical.ly's offering to users, creators, and partners", the two companies said in a statement. "It was organic growth - word-of-mouth", Musical.ly's North American president Alex Hofmann told Billboard previous year, when the app was adding 13 million users a month. The lab's mission is to develop machine-learning algorithms for personalized content recommendations.

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For now, users shouldn't expect any huge changes for Musical.ly. The company recently bought aggregation platform News Republic from Cheetah Mobile, which is also an investor in Musical.ly, for Dollars 86.6 million.

News Republic, according to Bytedance's Zhang, will give the company "access to high-quality content from thousands of high-profile media partners around the world, making an exciting step forward in our worldwide expansion strategy".

It added to the push this week by acquiring aggregation platform News Republic from Cheetah Mobile Inc (獵豹移動), which is also an investor in Musical.ly, for US$86.6 million.

The firms did not disclose financial details of the deal. This summer, Reddit raised $200 million in new funding, giving it a valuation of $1.8 billion.

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