Musical.ly To Be Bought By Chinese Firm For As Much As $1 Billion : The Two-Way : NPR

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Musical.ly, which is predicated in Shanghai, is being acquired by Bytedance, a man-made intelligence-focused Chinese expertise firm. In the foreground, the mascot for Live.ly, a live-streaming app.

Bloomberg/Bloomberg through Getty Images


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Bloomberg/Bloomberg through Getty Images

Musical.ly, which is predicated in Shanghai, is being acquired by Bytedance, a man-made intelligence-focused Chinese expertise firm. In the foreground, the mascot for Live.ly, a live-streaming app.

Bloomberg/Bloomberg through Getty Images

Digital lip-syncing geared toward teenagers is formally a giant, large enterprise: Chinese tech firm Bytedance has introduced it plans to “merge” with — purchase — Musical.ly, a well-liked lip-synching app launched in China in 2013.

Financial phrases of the deal weren’t included in as we speak’s announcement, however information reviews put the deal’s worth at between $800 million and $1 billion.

Musical.ly, which lets customers take movies of themselves lip-synching to songs, launched in 2014. In the time since, it is drawn greater than 100 million customers, in addition to cowl tales and offers with main labels, which see the platform as a promotional venue par excellence.

If you’ve got by no means heard of it, it could be that you simply’re over the age of … effectively, that you simply’re not a teen. Half of America’s teenagers and pre-teens are stated to make use of the app, with 64 % of its person base falling between the ages of 13 and 24. “It was organic growth — word-of-mouth,” Musical.ly’s North American president Alex Hofmann advised Billboard final 12 months, when the app was including 13 million customers a month.

The firm is run by Shanghai-based co-founders Alex Zhu and Luyu Yang.

Bytedance was based in 2012 and is reportedly valued at $20 billion, largely on the power of its flagship product, a man-made intelligence-driven information aggregator referred to as Toutiao (“headlines”) that it says has 120 million every day energetic customers.

Toutiao hasn’t been with out controversy — in founder Zhang Yiming’s first interview exterior of China, he advised Bloomberg final month that he started to pay for the content material in his app by means of licensing offers, after being sued for copyright infringement.

Toutiao’s buy of Flipagram, Musical.ly’s major rival within the self-shot-video-accompanied-by-music market, offers Bytedance dominance in soundtracks to non-public movies.

Next up? Digital minds serving to human ones to specific themselves. “We see AI as a critical factor in augmenting human creativity,” Zhu stated in a press release.

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