Major Chinese media startup acquires Musical.ly for $800-million

An $800-million-dollar acquisition has allowed Chinese media giant Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. to obtain Musical.ly. A popular Chinese social networking app designed for video creation, Musical.ly represented an attractive opportunity for companies beyond Beijing ByteDance Technology Co., with the Chinese viral video streaming service, Kuaishou, also bidding on the app.

Musical.ly boasts a robust network of 100-million users, a gargantuan populace that will couple with the expansive user count possessed by Beijing ByteDance Technology Co.’s own media startup, Jinri Toutiao. Toutiao registers a respective 120-million readers and viewers.

Founded by Alex Zhu and Louis Yang in 2014, Musical.ly has expanded its reach to American teenagers since its establishment, rising as a favorite app among this age group in 2016. Musical.ly has only continued to broaden its media influence, introducing a live-streaming app, Live.ly, in 2016 that led to deals with media firms such as Viacom Inc. and NBCUniversal for original shows. Finding a foothold within the teenage populace, Musical.ly will notably seek to cater to this younger audience via the creation of interactive content geared towards this specific age group. Heart’s “Seventeen” magazine has already expressed interest in inventing a series of fashion and beauty oriented shows for Musical.ly broadcast.

Beijing ByteDance Technology Co.’s newfound acquisition of Musical.ly represents an ideal alignment of Musical.ly’s content with that of Toutiao’s. Toutiao sources news and video from a diverse set of media outlets. Projected to garner approximately $2.5-billion in revenue this year, it is no surprise that Toutiao exists as one of the world’s “largest news services,” a distinction harnessed in a short five-year time span.

The Chinese startup’s possession of Musical.ly is expected to have an explosive effect on Beijing ByteDance Technology Co.’s already considerable ...

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