Naumova Ekaterina /

Short-video app Lomotif has been under the radar for many people in the music industry, us included. That’s going to change after this weekend’s announcement – in the Financial Times, no less – that it has signed a licensing deal with Universal Music Group.

The article notes that the Singapore-based TikTok-style app had been in talks with UMG since 2016, that it has been downloaded more than 225m times, and that its users are watching more than 300m videos a month.

This recent profile by the Vulcan Post has more info on Lomotif and its CEO Paul Yang, who founded the company in 2014. Artists including Alicia Keys and labels including Empire have used the app, and it also worked with LiveXLive on a recent music festival livestream.

In February this year, a company called Zash Global Media and Entertainment, whose co-founders included one of the early investors in TikTok’s predecessor Musical·ly, paid $125m for an 80% stake in Lomotif. This was part of a wider strategy that involved merging with a public company called Vinco Ventures.

That deal closed on Friday (23 July), with a press release offering a few more stats for Lomotif including “over 31 million on-platform monthly active users”. The app is being rebranded as LoMo and will get a big marketing campaign in North America, as well as a push in India. TikTok is still banned there, although LoMo will face strong competition from local short-video apps like Moj and Roposo.

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