Ever since TikTok was banned in India in June 2020, we’ve been following the explosive growth of the company’s homegrown short-video apps: Moj and MX TakaTak for example. Now we’ll be following them together: the two apps are coming together in a merger brokered by their parent companies ShareChat and MX Media, with the former in the guiding seat of the new entity.
It’s quite an entity too. According to the Times of India, the combined services will have more than 300 million monthly active users, 100 million of whom are creating videos, with those videos generating 250bn views a month. TechCrunch reported that the deal is worth $900m, and will see MX Media taking a stake in ShareChat’s own parent company Mohalla Tech.
For now, Moj and MX TakaTak will continue to be separate apps, but the long-term plan is likely a full merger under one brand – comparable to what ByteDance did with TikTok and Musical·ly in 2018, setting its short-video app on a path to rapid global growth.
This is all big news for the music industry in India, with rightsholders having been very keen to secure licensing deals with the popular short-video apps there to ensure they are paid for usage of their music by these growing communities.
In October 2021, consultancy firm RedSeer estimated that there were around 240 million short-video users in India at the time, which was around 40% of smartphone owners. It suggested that short video would soon be the second biggest ‘platform’ by time spent in India, behind only Facebook and Google properties – although both those companies (with Reels and YouTube Shorts) are in the short-video space too.