On Friday, Toutaio (a news app owned by Chinese tech giant Bytedance) bought the hit tween lip-syncing app, Musical.ly, for an undisclosed price ranging between $800m and $1B.
Axios reported that the unicorn deal was very competitive, and Toutaio hopes that acquiring the lip sync app will help them compete with the “Chinese tech trinity” of Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu.
The kids, they love it
In case you didn’t know, Musical.ly is super popular.
The DIY music-video app that allows people to create short vine-like videos took tween attention spans by storm in 2014 and hasn’t skipped a beat since.
Growing to over 200m users or, “musers” as they’re called, Musical.ly has been among the top 100 apps in the app store since its release.
A hit lip-syncing app that allows users to record up to 15 second music videos to their favorite tunes? Why didn’t you think of that, Vine!?
And this could mean big things for Toutaio
With over 60m users in the US and Europe, Musical.ly helps the China-based news company throw their weight more heavily into the Western market.
Launched as a classic news loop, Toutaio has adapted into a channel more closely resembling a Facebook newsfeed and now focuses more on videos and other entertainment in the digital space.
So what is Musical.ly getting out of this?
Well, other than making that straight up Unicorn cash, Toutaio brings their gargantuan Chinese user base to the fun-time, sans talent tool that looks to be more than just a trend.
Musical.ly reportedly has had a tough time finding their audience in China, and its founders hope this acquisition will help it find its footing in the Asian markets.
All in all, brands are helping brands, companies are helping companies, News is helping music, and music is helping news — all for the sake of the king we call c-o-n-t-e-n-t.