Apple is reportedly partnering with Musical.ly, the lip-syncing video app that’s become a popular social network for younger teens. The deal will see Apple Music providing the songs for the service, offering snippets of tracks for users to record themselves pretending to sing, while also promoting Apple’s own streaming service inside the app. The partnership comes as Musical.ly expands to 90 new countries, with licensing agreements allowing it to increase the number of territories it supports from 30 to 120.
Musical.ly surged in popularity last year
The deal is something of a step up for the Shanghai-based Musical.ly, which had previously relied solely on British provider 7digital (which it will still be working with) to provide songs for use in its app. The service has been available for three years, but saw a huge boost in its user base in 2016, as tweens and younger teens started using it as a Snapchat-esque social network. The company says it now has 100 million users — enough to score it a valuation of $500 million and investment of $100 million last year.
MTV turned to the app earlier this month when it started looking for new stars of My Super Sweet 16 — a reboot of the mid-2000s show about obscenely wealthy teenagers and their birthday parties. But, as Recode notes, Musical.ly may not be riding the wave of popularity it once was: the app has slipped down the iTunes in recent months. Those teens can be fickle, after all.
Correction April 28th, 7:30AM ET: Clarified that Musical.ly is still working with 7digital to provide songs for the service. The British company’s CEO confirmed to The Verge in a statement that 7digital now powers Musical.ly in 60 countries.