Musical.ly rival Flipagram has been acquired by China-based news aggregation app maker, Toutiao.
Launched in 2013, Flipagram allows its 200m users to create ‘short stories’ using photos or videos set to music.
In 2015, the app (eventually) secured licensing deals with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music, Merlin and The Orchard, and music publishers including Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group and BMG – plus a swathe of independents via US organisation the NMPA.
The new deal will apparently help Toutiao, which has 60m users, expand to the US, while growing Flipagram’s customer base through recommendation and improving its in-app experience.
“[Flipagram and toutiao are] a great match. we get to continue our mission and build out the vision we started.”
farah mohit, flipagram
Flipagram will continue to be based in Los Angeles and operate as an independent company with access to Toutiao’s technology, reports USA Today.
That technology includes a “relevance engine” which matches content in China with users’ interests and makes customised feeds based on behaviour.
Flipagram Founder Farah Mohit said: “That’s what we’ve been missing. It’s a great match, we get to continue our mission and build out the vision we started.”
With 10 million new Flipagram videos created each month, “our problem is who should see those videos,” Mohit added. “Having those data scientists helping us will be a great benefit.”
Flipagram’s other rival Eyegroove was bought by Facebook last year in order to pinch its team as the social media giant pursues a ‘video-first’ strategy. The app was subsequently shut down.
Music Business Worldwide