CCTV News / CNTV
CCTV News / CNTV
most popular in the U.S.
Chinese-designed app becomes most popular in the U.S.
Reporter: Mark Niu 丨 CCTV.com
07-10-2016 11:34 BJT
A Chinese designed application has become the most popular in the US. How popular is it? The app has 100 million users already, and American pop stars Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande are among them.
Nine-year-old Sofia Larranaga expresses herself in a way that's become routine for the young -- she's a muser.
"I like singing, but it's really fun because you can find any type of song that you want, sometimes you don't even know a few songs and then you just lip sync or dance," she said.
Sofia has used Musical.ly to make 101 lip-sync videos drawing more than 100 fans - a good start on an app that has 100 million users.
And it's helped create plenty of stars --- like Baby Ariel, who has more than 10 million fans and Jacob Sartorius, whose eight million fans are a built-in an audience for the launch of his original music.
What many don't realize is that Musical.ly is actually a Chinese company founded by two entrepreneurs in Shanghai. This is their San Francisco office filled with team members from around the world focused on building a social network.
"We never imagined we someday have some people like Baby Ariel getting 10 million people. It's unbelievable," said Louis Yang, co-founder & co-CEO.
Co-founder and Co-Ceo Louis Yang shows me all the musers who have millions of fans - including pop star Jason Derulo, who chose to release his new music on Musical.ly.
Two of the biggest pop stars in the world -- Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande -- also use the app.
Yang and co-founder Alex Zhu actually started out building an education app and were running out of money when they decided to pivot to music videos.
"We started from China and then soon after we launched, we figured that this product actually perfect matched the U.S. culture. 4:18 Everybody knows music is the universal language for different culture, so this is one of the reasons we choose music as a cutting point to build a global community," Yang said.
One of its biggest investors is GGV Capital and now Musical.ly board member Hans Tung.
"I think the first mainstream app that was partially designed or designed by a Chinese related team is probably here mainstream in the U.S. is Musical.ly. Is this a fad or is it something that can sustain I think what is different from Musical.ly is that they figured out a way to evolve from a utility app that can create content, to something that is more social so that you have a social network formed," Tung said.
And just last week, Musical.ly leveraged its star power to launch its new live streaming app - Live.ly, which leapfrogged apps like Facebook and Snapchat to hit number one as the top U.S. download.
"Going live in a mobile platform, most important element is give you a chance to communicate with your fans, real time way. So you are shooting about yourself and at same time getting feedback from you fans," Yang said.
Ironically, as Musical.ly expands in Europe and South East Asia, it's not planning to hit China yet.
The next phase will be to figure out how to monetize what it already has -- millions of young people who continue to be "amused."
CCTV News / CNTV
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