LOS ANGELES and BEIJING, Dec. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ KOREA IT TIMES-- musical.ly, one of the world's most popular mobile platforms for entertaining short videos, today announced that it has officially joined Bytedance, a leading AI-powered content platform. musical.ly also announced the formation of a $50 million fund to support global users in honing their creative talents and content creation efforts.
The merger enables musical.ly to tap into the strengths of Bytedance's global business, driving its next stage of development across product, technology, and content, as well as providing an enhanced experience for its global community of users. It also allows musical.ly to reach Bytedance's massive user base in China, Japan, Korea, and around Asia.
"We are delighted to formally welcome musical.ly to the Bytedance family," said Yiming Zhang, founder and CEO of Bytedance. "We are excited to leverage the great synergy between the two companies and explore opportunities to bring an even better content experience to our global users. We are impressed by the passion of the user community, whose creativity, humor, and expression of their interests through short videos has made musical.ly a powerful and engaging platform. Bytedance's leading AI technology and strength in Asian markets will help accelerate this app's innovation in mobile video creation and provide the opportunity for content creators and brands to engage with new markets."
Over the next two years, musical.ly's Creator Fund aims to invest in a number of programs to support the platform's fast-growing global creator community. With a focus on education and training, community enrichment, and discovering and developing creative talent, the fund's programs may include:
- College Scholarship Fund: Scholarships and educational grants to help college students advance their craft, enter relevant university programs, and pursue careers in the world of video storytelling and digital media
- Creator Marketplace: A platform enabling creators to exchange and sell creative assets (such as AR objects or original music), instruct and participate in virtual workshops, collaborate with brands, and more
- Co-innovation Partner Program: Collaboration with select media and content partners to pioneer new formats and technologies for advancing mobile video storytelling
"Our vision is to inspire the world to create, and we're excited to offer our users the ability to express their creativity, advance their talents, and even make a living on musical.ly," said Alex Zhu, co-founder of musical.ly. "From everyday creators to established influencers, our users make musical.ly a dynamic and entertaining video community for millions of people around the world. The musical.ly Creator Fund illustrates our commitment to supporting the growth and development of our creators and expanding the opportunities available to the creator community, both inside and beyond the app."
In its first three years, musical.ly brought about the rise of homegrown creators who found massive success on the app, many of whom have used that presence to launch careers as well. The musical.ly Creator Fund aims to help support and develop the up-and-coming crop of creators, largely college-age and beyond, who are now gaining attention in the app for their diverse and unique brand of short videos. The goal of these programs is to discover, encourage, and foster the career growth of those creators – like 19-year-old dancer/singer Lucki Starr or 25-year-old comedian Wesley Russell – who are producing content in everything from sketch comedy and vlogs, to skills like parkour, jump-roping, and professional ballet dancing.
musical.ly will continue to operate as an independent platform, with co-founders Louis Yang and Alex Zhu leading the global team.
musical.ly is a global video community that celebrates creativity. The app empowers users to create and share original videos that express their humor and talent, to discover a world of entertaining content, and to connect with a global community based on their interests. Every day, millions of people use musical.ly to express themselves through singing, dancing, comedy and more. In addition to hundreds of millions of user-generated videos, the platform has attracted major artists, launched the careers of many social media influencers, and featured original content from some of the largest entertainment companies.
Founded in 2012, Bytedance owns a series of content platforms that enable people to connect with, consume, and create content through machine learning technology. Bytedance's flagship product, Toutiao, is the largest AI-powered mobile content platform in China. Toutiao delivers personalized content recommendations to every user based on their interests. Bytedance also operates a series of products popular with mobile users around the world, including Topbuzz, Flipagram, and musical.ly.
In 2016, Bytedance established an AI Lab which builds on the company's vast and complex datasets to develop state-of-the-art innovations in artificial intelligence.