Chinese Media Startup Toutiao to Purchase Musical.ly for $800M-$1B

(image source: Recode)

Musical.ly is a Chinese video social network application for video creation, messaging, and live broadcasting. The first prototype was released in April 2014, and the official version was launched in August of that year. Beijing based ByteDance Technology Co., the company supporting massive Chinese media start-up Jinri Toutiao, has purchased teen social video app Musical.ly for about $800 million, according to people recognizable with the deal.

The acquirement signifies the major project abroad thus far for a Chinese startup priced at $20 billion that is, by now, generated one of the world’s most significant news services. 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. Bytedance proclaimed the contract Friday devoid of mentioning a price tag.

The startup acquires a big American occurrence, tallying Musical.ly’s 100 million – stout deputation of lip – syncing video performers to Toutiao’s own 120 million readers and viewers, at the same time as potentially tacking on a social media constituent to its bread and butter news submission. Musical.ly, founded in Shanghai by Louis Yang and Alex Zhu in 2014, exploded in reputation among American teens in 2016 and had since enlarged ahead of its flagship app for generating and sharing delicate music videos.

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In 2016, it introduced a live streaming app named ‘Live.ly’. The start-up’s smack contracts with media firms including Viacom Inc. And Comcast Corp.’s NBC Universal to create original shows. Bloomberg has informed it also appears to make interactive content for a younger audience.

Reports reveal, “In the business community, Musical.ly’s success was initially under the radar. When we broke the story of its funding round 18 months ago, the start-up name hardly rang a bell for most adults in Silicon Valley. The Shanghai-based company had both local and Silicon Valley investors. Greylock Partners, GGV Capital, DCM and Qiming all saw Musical.ly’s promise.”