China's Toutiao buys teens social video app Musical.ly in latest expansion

12 November, 2017, 02:23 | Author: Yolanda Murray
  • Chinese media giant to buy karaoke app Musical.ly for US$800 million

The details of the deal haven't been disclosed but sources told the Wall Street Journal that the app sold for somewhere between $800 million and $1 billion.

Toutiao aggregates news and videos from hundreds of media outlets and has become one of the world's largest news services in the span of five years.

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The deal could help Toutiao - which has over 120 million daily active mostly in China - push into more overseas markets where Musical.ly has a bigger presence.

It rolled out a live-streaming app called Live.ly in 2016 and signed deals with media firms including Viacom Inc and Comcast Corp's NBC Universal to make original shows. Bytedance strike out competitors (rival bidders) involving Kuaishou, the viral video streaming service, the folks said, questioning not to be acknowledged conferring a confidential matter. A significant global platform will be created in the massive user base in China and other key Asian markets where content creators and brand engage with newer markets.

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This week's deals come after Bytedance earlier this year acquired L.A. -based Flipagram, which lets users create short video stories from their photos, set to licensed music clips. "To achieve this, we need to constantly innovate to provide new and exciting video creation tools to our users, and we see AI as a critical factor in augmenting human creativity".

According to Musical.ly co-founder Alex Zhu, "Bytedance's leading AI technologies and top-notch AI developers can empower us to innovate faster and roll out new user offerings unlike anything users have experienced before". The app's cofounders, Alex Zhu and Louis Yang, will join Bytedance and will continue running Musical.ly as an independent platform. It's also worth noting is that Cheetah Mobile was an early investor in Musical.ly, in which Cheetah held a 17.4% stake of the end of 2016.

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