Lip Service

Music video apps give rise to a new genre of celebrity

Platforms for sharing video clips have been proliferating in recent months, and the freshest crop is putting a social spin on an “artform” that’s been experiencing a renaissance of late: lipsyncing. More than merely entertain users, these apps are facilitating the rise of a new breed of music star.  


Anyone can lip sync in front of their bathroom mirror, but sharing a video of such moments with millions of potential viewers is another thing. Users on Musial.ly have that opportunity by creating a 15-second music video to popular songs and sharing with the app’s network. “Musers” particularly adept at portraying humor, showing off dance moves, and being otherwise unique have discovered unexpected success as they’ve become the next internet sensations, with fans across the globe and recognition by credible music platforms such as Billboard.


Unlike Musical.ly, which mostly inspires videos that are planned and choreographed, Triller offers a more spontaneous experience due to its editing process. Users film multiple cuts of the same section of a song that are seamlessly blended into one video. The remixed clips can be shuffled, but users can’t select a specific order; the result looks like a formally edited video, but some of the creation is out of users’ hands. Triller recently added a social media aspect by allowing creators to share their videos in-app and browse those made by others, which could generate its own set of celebs.


Irish app Pulp is a freeform platform for inserting oneself into a music video. Users shoot just five seconds of video, add Snapchat-style filters like light effects and animated backgrounds, and then select a song from one of over 25 million licensed options from Apple Music to accompany the clip. A rebrand of what was formerly known as YapMe, Pulp videos are shared to existing social media networks rather than its own channel. The founders are betting on the fact that the app will appeal to those who want an interactive rather than passive music experience.