×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NBCUniversal, Viacom Discussing Producing Original Shows for Musical.ly Video App (Report)

Musical.ly, a startup that claims more than 200 million monthly users for its video-sharing apps, is planning to launch original programming on the service this summer and is in talks with media companies including Viacom and NBCUniversal on potential deals, Bloomberg reported.

The Bloomberg report, which cited anonymous sources, didn’t have details on specifically what kinds of content Musical.ly might be looking for except that the new shows may broaden its appeal beyond music into genres like sports and comedy. Reps for the companies declined to comment.

It’s not surprising that Musical.ly, whose U.S. operations are based in Santa Monica, Calif., would be looking to add professionally produced content to the user-generated videos that constitute to the core service.

Other social-media players have pursued similar strategies. Snapchat has teamed with several TV networks and studios to produce short-form content for its social-messaging app, and Twitter has cut a spate of live-streaming deals. Facebook is gearing up to license premium original content, as well, and just cut a deal with Major League Baseball to live-stream 20 games this season. All of the premium-video deals are aimed at attracting and retaining users — and, ultimately, serving them ads.

Musical.ly was founded in 2014 by friends Alex Zhu and Luyu Yang. The Shanghai-based company has raised about $16 million from investors including GGV Capital and Greylock Partners.

Separately, this week Musical.ly rolled out new augmented-reality feature called “Face.ly” that lets users take a selfie of themselves and then alter their eyes, nose, mouth, face, jaw and other facial features. To access the feature, Musical.ly users must open the camera page (in selfie mode), select “lenses,” then click “Face.ly” to configure the various face options.

Here are examples of what Face.ly selfies look like:

More Digital

  • Google Stadia is a Net Neutrality

    Google Stadia is a Net Neutrality Nightmare

    At the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this year, Google announced that it has taken up the long and ever-lengthening dream of the video game streaming service. Meant to replace the hefty, pricey, altogether confounding experience of buying and using various gaming hardware, Google Stadia will run video games on Google’s own hardware in a server [...]

  • crunchyroll logo

    Crunchyroll Raises Subscription Price to $7.99

    AT&T-owned anime subscription video service Crunchyroll is raising its monthly subscription price from $6.95 to $7.99 a month, it announced in an email to members Friday. It’s the service’s first price increase ever, according to a spokesperson. The new pricing will go into effect on May 1 for new subscribers, while existing members will see [...]

  • StyleHaul

    StyleHaul Shuts Down U.S. Operations, Lays Off About 65 Employees

    The axe is falling on StyleHaul: The fashion, beauty and lifestyle digital media and marketing company owned by RTL Group is shuttering U.S. operations, resulting the layoff of around 65 employees. StyleHaul offices in L.A., with about 55 employees, and in New York City, with around 10 staffers, are closing. RTL said StyleHaul’s U.K. operations, [...]

  • Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown, a leading platform for letting music fans know about upcoming concerts by their favorite artists, has acquired Hypebot, a news site publishing stories about the music industry and technology, and its sister site MusicThinkTank. “I’m proud to share that Hypebot and MusicThinkTank have been acquired by Bandsintown,” wrote Bruce Houghton, the founder of the [...]

  • Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’

    Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’ Is Future of VR

    As virtual reality becomes more and more available, many developers are looking for new frontiers to expand the experiences offered by the tech. For Netherlands-based Vertigo Games, that next frontier is what they call “location-based virtual reality.” It’s essentially high-quality VR experiences where players aren’t tethered to a PC or even to the confines of [...]

  • GDC 2019: Google's Play For Gaming

    GDC 2019: Google's Play for Gaming Ubiquity, Rise of Ray Tracing, Store Wars

    The Game Developers Conference finished up Friday evening, wrapping one of the most exciting GDCs in recent memory with Google’s splashy entrance into AAA video gaming, the emergence of real-time ray tracing as a compelling technology for film, TV, and games, and the growing war between two global estore powerhouses: Valve’s Steam and the Epic [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content