Lip-Syncing Video App Musical.ly Has Been Sold For A Reported $1 Billion

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After completely changing what it means to be a viral music star in today’s ever-evolving social media-focused world, Musical.ly has been sold for a hefty sum, though exactly how much appears to be difficult to pin down.

The app, which allows people to lip-sync to their favorite tunes and share the clips with other users (and beyond) has been sold to Chinese startup Jinri Toutiao, which is itself controlled by the ByteDance Technology Co. Jinri Toutiao has been burning through cash lately, snapping up Flipagram earlier this year.

While an exact figure in the purchase has not been released, Musical.ly is one of the hottest apps out there today, and it didn’t come cheap. Most sources are reporting that the musical program went for $800 million, while the Wall Street Journal is claiming that the final price tag could have been as high as $1 billion.

The three-year-old app didn’t require much time to become a favorite with young people, as it combines many of the things they love the most: hit music, social media, their phones, video and recording themselves, all with the potential of making it big, though without having to prove real talent (at least in the conventional sense). In the years since it was first launched in China, Musical.ly has grown large enough to produce its own stars, and there are now personalities who have started making serious amounts of cash because of their followings.

As of earlier this fall, the app reportedly had up to 200 million registered users (though some reports claim the number of users was actually far lower), and while there is plenty of discussion about how best to monetize them efficiently and interact with the notoriously difficult to sell to crowd that uses the social media platform the most, anywhere there are that many people involved for as long as some people stay on the app, there will be companies finding ways to make cash from it.

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Last year, the company raised at least $160 million in funding, proving it to be one of the most exciting names in the app economy, but now there are plenty of questions about what the future looks like for the popular mobile option. Has the growth stalled, or is this just the beginning for an app that many are still only catching onto? Time will tell, but founders Alex Zhu and Lulu Yang are surely celebrating their big win today.

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