Good news for mobile-first teens as their favorite social media platform, Musical.ly will now be featuring original content on its app. The move comes after the popular lip-sync app announced its collaboration with Viacom, NBCUniversal and Hearst Magazine Digital Media.
Following the footsteps of its competitors Twitter, Youtube Red and Snapchat in airing shows, the app will host a number of interactive series fit for its audience ranging from fashion to travel.Ashort version of American rapper-turned-comedian Nick Canon’s comedy show Wild ‘N Out will also be aired and is one of the first shows to be featured in its ‘trending’ section for 24 hours. The next roundup will include Seventeen in the City by Hearst and the Greatest Party Story Ever by MTV.
Users, popularly known as ‘musers’, will also soon get a chance to be featured in shows such as NBCU’s Crush, which will have them discussing their celebrity crushes. And that’s not all, they can also upload their personal responses to their favorite shows by using their hashtags, which will then be complied into a clip that will air at the end of the show. This interactive setup differentiates Musical.ly’s programming from its competitors such as Snapchat.
The Shanghai, China-based company, launched in 2014, has successfully earned a market base with 40 million active users per month, attracting teens to express themselves through singing, dancing, comedy and lip-syncing. This latest venture comes after the company noticed a paradigm shift in consumers becoming creators. In an interview with Variety, Alex Hofmann, Musical.ly’s North America president said that musers are not interested in only watching videos anymore. “Our musers always want new, exciting content experiences. These entertaining videos will give them even more to love about musical.ly,”Hoffman also told Forbes.
Currently, the app is experimenting this shift with its free series and won’t be monetizing on this venture. Two to four-minutes-long videos will also help television channels like MTV to regain its young audience – as musers are aged between 13 and 21 – that it has been losing over the years.
The channel owned by Viacom Media Networks was hugely popular in the ‘60s when music videos were all the rage. Raking in the benefits of the emergence of music videos, connecting pop culture with technology, MTV was the go-to hip channel for the millenials aged between 20 to 30 years old. However, recently the cable-TVand online channel has been trying hard to recapture its target mobile-savvy viewers. Viacom has reported a decline in its viewership over the years with MTV VMA’s also losing its appeal, resulting in a fall in its ratings. A deal with Musical.ly may help MTV to reinvent itself.
In about three years, Musical.ly has been able to raise $116 million in venture capital and according to estimates conducted by Forbes, it is currently valued at $500 million. Earlier in February, Musical.lyannounced a deal between Live.ly – its live-streaming app – and the digital media company, Sweety High. According to Musical.ly, the video-series titled After the Bell, which targets female musers, has already gained a weekly audience of over 300k in just five months since its launch.