×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Musical.ly Launches Major Update to Video App, Which May Help Broaden Its Audience

Musical.ly has rolled out a significant redesign of its social video app, with the aim of surfacing a broader range of content — which may ultimately widen its appeal beyond the millions of teen girls who make up its core user base.

The Musical.ly 6.0 update, published Wednesday in the iTunes App Store and Google Play, includes an overall refresh to the app’s look and feel along with two key enhancements: a new section that shows similar videos you may like to watch; and new options for user profile pages, including the ability to post a video instead of a photo.

“This is the biggest visual change for Musical.ly since it was born,” said Alex Hofmann, president of North America for the company, which was founded in 2014.

Musical.ly started life as a music-video lip-syncing app, and now has over 215 million users (or “musers,” as it calls them). Today the app hosts videos spanning multiple genres beyond music, including comedy, beauty, fashion, sports, vlogs, food and animals. In addition, Musical.ly has teamed with NBCUniversal, Hearst and Viacom for professionally produced short-form series including shows from E!, Seventeen and MTV.

The No. 1 goal of the new app design is to make “a wide range of content more accessible,” Hofmann said. The new “similar musical.lys” section recommends videos that are similar to videos you’ve watched using an algorithm that incorporates several factors, including a computer-vision system that tries to determine what a video is about.

“We want to make this about personalization,” Hofmann said. “If someone comes in and they’re a 40-year-old guy who watched basketball videos, they will get value in the same way as someone who comes in at a younger age.”

Musical.ly 6.0 also introduces changes to profile screens. Musers can now upload a profile video of up to 6 seconds in length, and present videos in a different layout. In addition, Musical.ly profiles can now link out to Twitter and other social-media services, whereas before it allowed links only to Instagram and YouTube. “Our users don’t like it when a platform constrains them,” Hofmann noted. “We actually encourage our stars to be stars in other areas.”

Musical.ly lets users record, edit and post videos up to 60 seconds long, choosing from a large library of song clips and soundtracks. The app also lets users upload prerecorded videos up to 5 minutes in length.

Users can buy emoji “gifts” for their favorite creators on Musical.ly’s Live.ly live-video app. The Musical.ly app still doesn’t have other monetization features, although Hofmann said those are in the offing.

Shanghai-based Musical.ly, with U.S. headquarters in San Francisco, was founded by software developers and friends Alex Zhu and Luyu Yang, who previously launched an unsuccessful educational video app. The company has raised $147 million to date from investors including GGV Capital, GX Capital, Qiming Venture Partners and Susquehanna International Group.

More Digital

  • AVOD streaming video OTT users -

    Comcast Unveils 'Flex,' a Streaming Service for Internet Customers

    Comcast said it would unveil “Flex,” a hub for its Internet-only customers that allows them to stream and purchase shows and movies, the latest effort by a traditional cable provider to latch on to customers who are migrating to broadband services, The Philadelphia cable giant will also make free, ad-supported services available via the service, [...]

  • splice

    Splice Raises $57.5 Million in Latest Funding Round

    Splice, a favorite of music creators that allows access to a library of three million rights-cleared sounds, announced today that the company closed a Series C funding round at $57.5 million. That brings Splice’s total amount raised to roughly $102 million since its launch in 2013. It raised a Series B in November of 2017. [...]

  • Facebook's 'Red Table Talk' Garners Daytime

    Facebook's 'Red Table Talk' Garners Daytime Emmy Nomination

    Facebook is now in the awards hunt: Its popular original series “Red Table Talk” hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith was nominated for a 2019 Daytime Emmy. It appears to be the first-ever Daytime Emmy Awards nomination for a Facebook-funded show, although a company rep was unable to confirm that. “Red Table Talk” is nominated in [...]

  • MLB-TV

    MLB.TV Joins Lineup on Amazon's Prime Video Channels

    Amazon has launched MLB.TV on Prime Video Channels for Prime members in the U.S., just in time for the start of Major League Baseball’s 2019 regular season start next week. The MLB.TV package provides regular-season out-of-market baseball games, both live and on-demand. Prime members in the U.S. can subscribe to MLB.TV for $24.99 per month, [...]

  • Tencent Music Shares Drop Despite Solid

    Tencent Music Shares Drop Despite Solid First Earnings Report

    Proving that good is not always good enough, Tencent Music Entertainment shares fell 9 percent after the Chinese company released its 2018 earnings, wiping out $2.7 billion in market capitalization of what is arguably the biggest audio music service in the world. Chalk it up to big expectations and a short track record: Wednesday’s earnings [...]

  • PewDiePie - YouTube

    PewDiePie vs. T-Series: YouTube Channels Keep Battling for No. 1 Spot

    UPDATED, 3/21: The back-and-forth battle for YouTube’s No. 1 spot continues. T-Series on Thursday again pulled ahead of YouTube’s PewDiePie as the No. 1 most-subscribed channel on the platform — coming a day after T-Series briefly topped the vlogger-gamer-comedian and renewing fans’ support him. In a months-long symbolic running battle for the title, PewDiePie and his [...]

  • Netflix to Test Special Video Previews

    Netflix Will Test Character-Driven Video Previews for Its Kids Content

    Netflix is getting ready to try a new thing to help younger viewers discover new shows: The video service will start testing character-driven video previews of some of its shows later this year, executives revealed during a press event in Los Angeles Tuesday. The test, which will be rolled out on some members’ TV devices [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content