After dominating the short video market, TikTok may be considering a music service – TechCrunch
TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, filed a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in May for a service called “TikTok Music.” First spotted by Business Insider, the filing says the trademark could be applied to a mobile app that would allow users to buy, play, share and download music.
The short video app is already a popular tool for discovering music and can often lead to increased popularity of songs after they are used in viral videos and trends. A report released by the company last year suggested that 175 songs that were trending on the short video platform ended up on the Billboard 100 chart. Additionally, a recent report released by a UK-based music investor suggested that popular songs on TikTok generate additional views on YouTube and streams on other platforms, like Spotify.
While TikTok is making these songs popular, it doesn’t have its own music streaming platform – at least in the US – to make money from them. Instead, users turn to popular services like Spotify or Apple Music to listen to their favorite TikTok songs. However, TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, operates a music streaming service called Resso in India, Brazil, and Indonesia, and we understand it had already considered bringing the service to more markets.
A former ByteDance employee told TechCrunch that the company considered launching Resso in various global markets as “TikTok Music,” in fact. Specifically, it was considering launches in mature markets like the UK and Australia, the source said.
Resso’s app could be a viable threat to existing US streamers given its close ties to TikTok and its social networking aspects. Currently, Resso offers a TikTok-like user interface where users can browse songs by scrolling up and down. It also has the ability to comment on songs and albums and edit the cover of users’ playlists, as suggested by the TikTok Music brand.
The app has seen solid progress in its existing markets, mobile data shows. According to analytics firm SensorTower, the company had 42.3 million downloads on the App Store and Google Play from January to May this year, representing a 19% year-over-year growth for the same period. The music streaming app has amassed 184 million lifetime downloads.
ByteDance’s dossier lists many use cases for the TikTok Music brand. A use case listed in the folder for “TikTok Music” includes an app that would allow users to live stream audio and video, as well as the option to “edit and upload photos as cover of reading lists”. The app would also allow users to leave comments on music, songs, and albums, depending on the record. Another use case suggests the service could be used to “live stream audio and video interactive multimedia programs in entertainment, fashion, sports, and current affairs.” The filing also suggests the app could be used to “provide users with podcast and radio broadcast content.” Adding podcast content alongside music would make TikTok Music an even bigger competitor to Apple Music and Spotify.
News of TikTok’s potential upcoming music streaming service comes as the company launched its own music marketing and distribution platform, SoundOn, a few months ago to help more artists get their music heard. . The platform allows artists to upload their music directly to TikTok and Resso, in addition to global streaming platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Deezer and Tencent’s Joox. With the launch of its own music streaming service alongside SoundOn, TikTok would be able to offer a complete solution for listeners and artists in the United States.
TikTok led the short video market and was the first non-meta app to reach three billion downloads worldwide, according to Sensor Tower. Its growth has caused companies like Instagram and YouTube to reconsider their platforms and business approaches due to the threat they face from the shorthand video app. This makes its plans to enter the music streaming space a potential threat to incumbents.
Still, it’s worth noting that TikTok has failed to translate all of its services to new markets. The company, for example, recently closed its UK Shopping service after a disastrous launch and an employee walkout. British TikTok employees had alleged a toxic work culture and labor law violations. That could delay plans to bring other services — including Resso, a service run by Chinese tech giant ByteDance — to the United States or other regions.
ByteDance and TikTok did not respond to TechCrunch’s request for comment.