Nov. 10 (UPI) — Chinese media company ByteDance acquired popular short-form video mobile application Musical.ly, the companies announced Friday.
The Musical.ly app, developed in China, is popular globally with teenagers and offers karaoke-style videos. It provides users an Internet stage to post videos of themselves singing along with songs.
The company was purchased by Beijing ByteDance Technology, operator of the startup Chinese news website Jinri Toutiao.
The deal represents the largest venture for Toutiao since its 2014 startup and gives it an international presence.
Musical.ly said it has more than 100 million users worldwide who lip-sync songs on self-made videos — and Toutiao boasts 120 million readers, largely in China.
The music app became popular last year among American teens. A separate live-streaming app, Live.ly, has made deals with U.S. broadcasters Viacom and NBC Universal to produce original programming.
The companies did not disclose terms of the acquisition, but Bloomberg reported Friday that it’s valued between $800 million and $1 billion.
Musical.ly is an expansion on YouTube’s success with self-produced videos by users. “Musers” on the app create videos to share, and some have millions of fans and share advertising revenue through various partnerships.
Toutiao has become one of the world’s largest news aggregators since its 2014 startup. Earlier this week, its parent company bought the news and video aggregation News Republic from Cheetah Mobile, a Chinese company and an early investor in Musical.ly, for $86.6 million. Toutiao bought the U.S. company Flipagram in February.