5 Things Content Marketers Need to Know About Dubsmash, the New Viral Lip-Syncing App

Pop quiz: When Rihanna released her new single last month, with which app did she choose to tease it? It wasn’t Vine, Snapchat, Instagram, or even the new live-streaming platform, Periscope. She actually used Dubsmash, a new app that invites users to record short videos of themselves lip-syncing to audio clips.

Sound random? It might be. Sound shareable? You bet.

Lip-syncing is already taking the media by storm. Sean Hayes went viral across social media last month for his lip-syncing YouTube videos, and Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show lip sync battles inspired a whole TV series on Spike that’s racking up millions of views on YouTube.

Despite its fun and silly service, there’s no telling if Dubsmash will have a long life. It took three separate launches for the app to gain traction, and there are already talks of copyright infringement, given that Dubsmash’s sound library is comprised of unlicensed audio clips from TV shows and movies. But with several high-profile celebrities already having fun with the app, it may be some time before the Dubsmash hype dies down. And if that’s the case, brands will be looking to get in on the action.

Here’s what they need to know before getting started.

1. More than 20 million people are using Dubsmash across 192 countries

Since founders Jonas Drüppel, Roland Grenke, and Daniel Taschik launched Dubsmash for the third time in November 2014, the app has been downloaded more than 20 million times. It quickly became the number one app in the iOS store of the founders’ home country, Germany, later climbing to the same spot in 29 other countries, including the U.K. and France.

A quick YouTube search for Dubsmash compilations already turns up a bevy of Dubsmash video montages, similar to ones we’ve seen of Vines.

So, why is the app so popular? Probably because it has a simple user interface that makes process quick, easy, and stupidly fun. Users can choose any sound they want from Dubsmash’s Soundboard and film a short video (up to 10 seconds) of themselves lip-syncing to it. Taking the user-generated content to the next level, Dubmash also invites iOS users to upload their own dubs with the Dubloader, with this feature set to come for Android devices.

2. Celebrities are loving it

We know Rihanna’s on board, inspiring fans to make their own dubs of a clip from her new single. But she’s not the only one.

Adam Levine is having fun with the app, sharing his NSFW dub of a classic line from Pulp Fiction.

Lena Dunham and Jack Antonoff used Dubsmash to share some Alanis Morissette love.

And Saturday Night Live‘s Cecily Strong went on a Dubsmash rampage on her Instagram last weekend.

A video posted by Cecily Strong (@cecilystrong) on


Now, we’re just waiting for Sean Hayes to hear about the app and launch his own viral Dubsmash series.

3. It’s not a social network, but its content is extremely shareable

The app doesn’t have a timeline or news feed like Instagram, and the content isn’t set up to be shared in the app, like on Snapchat. But the videos can be saved to users’ Camera Rolls and shared across chat apps and social networks of their choosing.

As Complex pointed out last month, almost 400,000 videos have already been uploaded to Instagram alone, with users tagging their videos with #DUBSMASH, or their home countries, like #DubsmashEgypt or #DubsmashGermany.

4. It stands out from Vine, Instagram, and Snapchat

Since Dubsmash isn’t a social platform, it’s not poised to directly compete with Vine, Instagram, and the chat apps. But it does take features from each to form its own unique service. Users can add filters like on Instagram, add text like on Snapchat, and produce short videos like on Vine.

The goal of lip-syncing to a short audio clip is simple, but given the available combinations of which clip to choose, who to lip-sync it with, and where to film it, the possibilities for funny content seem endless.

5. Dubsmash is just waiting for brands to use it

Celebrities may be playing around with the app, but there hasn’t been any news-worthy brand uptake on Dubsmash yet, so the field is wide open for experimentation. Some brands may be worried about the inherent copyright issues, but co-founder Grenke told TechCrunch this has yet to be a problem, and should it become one, they have a “take-down” policy for when a license holder complains.

Grenke also said he believes that brands will eventually want to work directly with the app, perhaps giving explicit permission for users to create dubs with their audio content. For example, maybe the marketing team behind Spike’s star-filled Lip Sync Battle will take to the app to promote new episodes or encourage users to submit their own dubs of featured songs, which they presumably have the licenses to use.

But really, who could beat Anne Hathaway’s “Wrecking Ball” reenactment? Well, maybe Steve Kardynal.

Image by Odu

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