Social networks are a dime a dozen, but amidst the ones that come and go there are a few that rise above. Enter Musical.ly, an app that allows users to create short videos with added sounds. It kind of works like Vine (RIP) but with music playing as well – users really enjoy lip-syncing or dancing along. The Chinese-made content creator is easy to use and share, and with over 200 million users, Apple is pairing up with Musical.ly to bring even more music to all those fans.
Musical.ly users will soon be able to stream full-length Apple Music songs from within the app, and add songs to playlists to share with friends. The move is part of the former company’s goal to expand music discovery on the app, while still allowing users to churn out viral content. And Apple, of course, is all about growing their streaming service.
Part creation tool and part social network, Musical.ly has helped launch the careers of media-savvy young artists. Like Jacob Sartorius, a 14-year-old pop singer/songwriter, who amassed over 16 million followers on the platform as his bridge to mainstream success. His path is similar to how Justin Bieber was first noticed through YouTube, capturing the prepubescent audience and all. But you know, with a fancy smartphone app rather than what was a clunky desktop website at the time.
Could this be the future of music sharing? It’s tough to say, although the app has only been around since 2014 so the growth has been astounding. There’s an extra layer of involvement when users can actually interact with music, which Musical.ly fully embraces. The company also released a livestream offshoot app called Live.ly, although the age 15-25 demographic the app appeals to doesn’t seem to latch onto that concept as much. Maybe there’s a limit to what teenagers can, or should, comfortably share online? Either way, Apple buying into Musical.ly integration indicates the music tech industry is taking notice. Sorry, Vine – if only you had that music aspect. You were so close.