The company behind viral video app TikTok may be planning its own music streaming service in bid against Spotify and Apple

  • The music service, which won’t be named after TikTok, could launch by this fall
  • It’s being developed by ByteDance, the parent of viral music video app TikTok 
  • The app will be subscription-based and it will first debut in emerging markets 

The parent company of viral video app TikTok could be preparing to take on Spotify and Apple Music with a new streaming service. 

Chinese internet giant ByteDance could release the new music platform within the next few months, Bloomberg reported, citing sources close to the situation. 

The unnamed service, which isn’t expected to be named after TikTok, will first launch in emerging markets like India.  

The parent company of viral video app TikTok could be preparing to take on Spotify and Apple Music with a new streaming service. It's expected to launch in the coming months

The parent company of viral video app TikTok could be preparing to take on Spotify and Apple Music with a new streaming service. It’s expected to launch in the coming months

TikTok, also known as Douyin in China, has become one of the fastest-growing apps among teen users over the past few years and now counts more than 500 million downloads. 

The app has also had real impacts on cultural trends. For example, ‘Old Town Road,’ currently the number one song in the world, picked up steam on TikTok.

ByteDance will try to capitalize on TikTok’s rapid popularity by converting some of its users into paying customers, according to Bloomberg.  

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Offering the app as a paid service is likely to be more appealing to labels, as they’ll get a higher rate of royalties compared to free services. 

By launching in emerging markets, ByteDance is looking to establish a lead in regions where Apple Music, Spotify and other music streaming services have not yet taken hold. 

The TikTok parent has reportedly already secured music rights from T-Series and Times Music, which are two major labels in India.  

TikTok has also had real impacts on cultural trends in the years since its launch. For example, 'Old Town Road,' currently the number one song in the world, picked up steam on TikTok

TikTok has also had real impacts on cultural trends in the years since its launch. For example, ‘Old Town Road,’ currently the number one song in the world, picked up steam on TikTok

TikTok has amassed a sizable user base in India, where it now counts 300 million monthly users.  

However, it has yet to secure rights from major labels like Universal, Warner and Sony. 

Doing so will be vital for ByteDance’s music streaming service to expand to North America, Europe or Latin America, Bloomberg noted. 

Launching a music streaming service would mark the latest step in ByteDance’s expansion into new areas. 

Earlier this week, ByteDance launched a new chat app called Feiliao, or Flipchat, that lets users communicate via instant messaging and groups catered around their interests. 

ByteDance in January also launched Duoshan, a video chatting app that closely mirrors Snapchat.    

WHAT IS TIKTOK? 

TikTok is known in China as Douyin where it was launched in 2016

TikTok is known in China as Douyin where it was launched in 2016

Tik Tok is a Chinese social media app where users can live stream, create short videos and music videos and Gifs with a host of functions. 

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Tik Tok’s tagline is ‘Make every second count’.

It was the most downloaded app in the US in 2018 and the world’s fourth most downloaded app in 2018, ahead of Instagram and Snapchat.

TikTok is known in China as Douyin where it was launched in 2016 and then made more widely available around the world in 2017.  

Douyin is still the version of the app used in China, available to download separately to TikTok.

Last year, the app was merged with popular music video lip-syncing app Musical.ly, also with headquarters in China. 

Most children use the app to film themselves lip-syncing to chart hits. 

It offers users a raft if colourful modification and editing tools including overlaying music, sound, animated stickers, filters and augmented reality (AR) for creating short videos. 

The Beijing based social network has more than 500 million active users and the company is now worth more than $75 billion (£58 billion). 



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