* Musical.ly is in talks with Viacom and NBCUniversal
* Fashion and beauty content coming from Seventeen magazine
* Soon to add augmented reality filters
Musical.ly, the popular app for creating and sharing music videos, is in talks with Viacom and NBCUniversal to produce original content, reports Bloomberg. With an eye toward programming that is participatory and interactive, the company wants to expand its appeal beyond music with topics such as comedy and sports.
Founded in Shanghai, China, in 2014, Musical.ly first gained popularity among the American “tween” market. The app lets users — or “musers” as they are called — filter, edit and broadcast short video clips to accompany songs of their choosing. The company has since launched a live streaming app, Live.ly, a video chat service called “Squad” and a video messaging app called “Pingpong.”
If true, the rumored partnership would not be Musical.ly’s first. This year, they teamed with NBCUniversal’s Telemundo for the 2017 Billboard Latin Music Awards; the two companies are in talks to develop Latino-focused content. Additionally, Hearst Media’s Seventeen magazine is producing a series of fashion and beauty videos for the app.
Another huge feature coming to Musical.ly is Face.ly augmented reality. The service would allow users to create masks, lenses and filters like those on Snapchat. Unlike Snapchat, Face.ly will not be a messaging service. Instead, it will resemble Bitmoji, which allows users to create animated avatars of themselves.