×
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

  • BURBANK, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 18: (EDITORIAL

    Dax Shepard, Bobby Bones, 'Breakfast Club' Among iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Winners

    iHeartRadio launched its first ever Podcast Awards on Friday (January 18) in Los Angeles. Among the winners in 22 categories were “Whine Down with Jana Kramer” (Best Entertainment TV Podcast); “Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard (Breakout Podcast); “Bobbycast” (Music Podcast); and “The Breakfast Club” (Best Multicultural Podcast). The winners were determined by iHeartRadio listeners. Taking the top prize of Podcast [...]

  • Velvet Buzzsaw trailer

    Netflix Original Movies: What to Look Forward To in 2019

    Following the biggest fourth-quarter worldwide subscriber gain ever and some controversy around increased prices in the U.S., Netflix looks to keep its momentum going into 2019. From Jan. 18 through March, the streaming site will release 10 original films, including action-packed thrillers, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi, quirky comedies, inspirational dramas, an artistic horror movie and a viral [...]

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president. The deal suggests that Apple sees docu [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Release of Docs to Reveal How Facebook Made Money Off Children

    Documents related to a 2012 lawsuit against Facebook in which children, sometimes unwittingly, spent their parents’ money on games via the social site will be unsealed, according to a Monday ruling from the United States District Court. The court gave Facebook ten days to file unredacted documents in accordance with the ruling. The 2012 lawsuit [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Sets Up New Product Group for AR Glasses (Report)

    Facebook has restructured its augmented and virtual reality research division and set up a new group tasked with building augmented reality (AR) glasses, according to a new Business Insider report. Facebook acknowledged the move in a statement given to the publication, saying that the move affected “a few hundred people.” The group has already built [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content