Photo Credit: SquadHelp
After burning through $6.2 million of investment in the last eight years, it looks like the Tunemoji domain is up for sale for a measly $2,495.
The developer of Tunemoji—Emoticast—raised the $6.2 million over the course of several investment rounds. In March 2017, Napster co-founder Sean Parker was among angel investors who contributed $5 million to the musical GIF project.
At its height, the app allowed users to share music GIFs and sounds from artists inside messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. In 2018, Tunemoji partnered with Snapchat to integrate GIFs directly within the app. In 2019, it even got a short-lived Twitch extension for creators to use.
The app secured licenses from Universal Music, Warner Music, Sony/ATV, Warner Chappell, Universal Publishing Group, Sony BMG, and PRS. These deals allowed Tunemoji to become the first GIF provider app that featured licensed music—which still wasn’t enough staying power in the long-term.
So why did this crash? Attention spans are shorter than ever and Gen Z has wholly embraced TikTok, which features its own in-house stickers. There’s little need for third-party developers to create integrations like these anymore because they’ve become an essential part of how Gen Z communicates.
At present, Tunemoji iOS app has been disconnected and is no longer available to download, while the domain appears to be for sale for less than $3,000.
A screenshot from SquadHelp showcases the current owner of the domain trying to sell it to interested parties. The sale of the domain does not include trademarks or other business registrations relevant to the domain—which raises some questions about how much you can do with the domain without the underlying trademarks.
Either way, it appears the era of GIF making apps is coming to a close as services like TikTok and YouTube seek to integrate these features natively. Many of these features are now ways that creators can monetize the interactions they have with their communities.