We have been writing about our near-namesake for a while now and its speed of growth has been staggering. If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s a 15-second lip-syncing app that has the sort of consumer appeal (90m users since launch two years ago) that most artists would sell their grandparents for.
Huck Magazine has a useful overview of what it is, what it does and why it has taken off like a rocket. Is it potentially really important, beyond the hype and bluster that goes hand-in-hand with any startup that can raise $100m in investment. David Emery of Kobalt Label Services is quoted in the piece saying, “It’s finding a massive audience among teens and young people who aren’t really being reached through other media […] They haven’t necessarily grown up watching TV shows or listening to the radio. The reason we’re seeing short, disposable content generated by users across a bunch of different apps is because that’s how this younger audience wants to consume content.” The fact that 75% of its users are female is also important to note. Warner Music Group, of course, has already licensed the service and musicians are increasingly using it in their marketing. It is also creating a new type of app celebrity – like Jacob Sartorius who is using it like Justin Bieber used YouTube before he was signed. Emery cautions, however, against seeing this as an A&R shortcut. “Being big on one platform doesn’t necessarily make you a star,” he says. “You may have a gift for making 15-second videos but that doesn’t mean you have a gift for making a single or even an album. It can put you on that path, but transitioning away from a platform like this into the more traditional music industry is notoriously difficult.”