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First YouTube spawned stars, then Vine. Now the two-year-old app musical.ly is creating a generation of rising talent, and UTA is capitalizing on the surge by signing one of the platform’s biggest stars.
The agency has inked a deal with Jacob Sartorius, who has become a sensation on musical.ly for his videos that show him lip syncing to popular songs. Sartorius first rose to popularity on Vine, where he has more than 905,000 followers, but it is musical.ly where his fanbase has flourished. He currently has more than 7.5 million fans on the platform, making him one of the most popular people there, and a total audience of 15 million across social media apps including Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.
Sartorius, who released the single “Sweatshirt” earlier this year, created a YouTube channel just one month ago and already has more than 1 million subscribers and 24 million total views for his first four videos. His performance at VidCon in Anaheim in mid-June drew thousands of fans.
Shanghai-based musical.ly has risen in popularity with young users who enjoy the simple mechanics of creating and sharing 15-second videos of themselves singing or dancing along to songs. It has more than 90 million users and earlier this month launched the companion app live.ly, which puts the company in the thick of the live-streaming race.
This is the first time that UTA has signed a star whose primary platform is musical.ly. The agency also was quick to capitalize on the growing popularity of stars on Twitter-owned Periscope, signing Amanda Oleander last September. Sartorius now joins a robust roster of digital talent at UTA, which includes YouTube stars iJustine and Flula Borg, as well as Viners including Lele Pons and Nash Grier.
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