According to reports, TikTok owner ByteDance is planning to launch TikTok Music, a music streaming service that will compete with Spotify and YouTube Music. Slashbeats has discovered newly added references to a “TikTok Music” service in the Resso streaming app, owned by TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, in addition to recent discoveries of TikTok Music trademarks in global markets. The code appears to imply that user activity may sync between the Resso app and TikTok Music, and it also includes a “music.tiktok.com” URL.
ByteDance already operates the Resso streaming music service in markets such as India, Brazil, and Indonesia. The references to TikTok Music in the Resso app, on the other hand, suggest that the China-based company may sync user activity between the two apps. Furthermore, the code refers to TikTok Music as a component of TikTok.
It’s unclear whether TikTok will test its music service globally under the Resso brand or launch a separate app for it.
The company has also launched a site called “music.tiktok.com” for specific regions, with references to it found in the code, implying that the service will first be available in Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Malaysia, and Singapore. You can’t download the client yet, and if you try to click on the download button, you’ll get a message saying, “We’re working hard to bring you the desktop version.” Please return soon.”
According to the mobile version of the site, the download button will take users to the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
We discovered that the brand “TikTok Music” is also used in the site’s terms of service.
“Hello and welcome to TikTok Music!” “TikTok Music, one of our Services defined in the TikTok Terms, is a music streaming service that allows users to listen to music,” according to the term page. Many of the pages on the site have placeholder text, indicating that they are still being worked on. This could imply that ByteDance is preparing to begin testing the service in specific regions.
The code references aren’t the only indications that a TikTok Music brand is being developed.
The company has also recently registered verified “TikTok Music”-branded Twitter and Instagram handles, as well as region-specific handles for Latin America, Australia and New Zealand, Asia, and countries such as Singapore and Malaysia. Between April and May, these accounts posted creative teasers like “Welcome to a new way to experience music,” “discover your new favorite song,” and “stay tuned.”
These actions are consistent with what a former ByteDance employee told Slashbeats earlier this year. They told us that ByteDance had previously considered expanding the Resso service into new markets under the “TikTok Music” brand. According to the source, it had been considering launches in mature markets such as the United Kingdom and Australia. The Wall Street Journal also reported last month that ByteDance was in talks with major music labels about expanding its streaming service to global markets.
ByteDance would benefit from a TikTok Music service because many hit songs first go viral on TikTok and then gain traction on Spotify and YouTube. According to a company report released last year, 175 songs that trended on the short-video platform ended up on the Billboard 100 chart.
If ByteDance launches its own music service, these streams could be directed to its own app — whether Resso or TikTok Music — allowing it to earn advertising and subscription revenue.
ByteDance has expressed an interest in expanding its music investments. It launched its own music distribution solution, SoundOn, earlier this year. With this service, the company pays the artists 100% royalties for the first year, then 90% royalties beginning in the second year. TikTok also allows artists to post teasers to get early feedback.
TikTok Music’s success will be determined by its ability to secure deals with major labels, which will allow it to provide users with access to popular songs in addition to the original songs that debut first on TikTok. This could be challenging. Sony Music, for example, removed its catalog from Resso in September, resulting in user backlash.