TikTok owner looking to launch a music streaming service

Sources close to The Financial Times claim that TikTok is ready to launch a music streaming service. The new service will reportedly includes several short video clips that can be synced to songs, and shared with friends and followers.
TikTok music
TikTok has established itself as one of the most downloaded apps in the world – popular in both the US and China. Photo: Aaron Yoo via Flickr.

Major label talks

Pricing for the new TikTok music service has yet to be made public, but it is expected to cost less than the $10 per month that the likes of Spotify and Apple currently charge for their music access. As TikTok looks to develop content for the service, The Financial Times reports that the company is in conversation with Sony, Universal, and Warner.

Rivals to the TikTok service already have extensive music catalogues available, so there is pressure on the developers of TikTok ahead of its imminent launch. Indeed, reports suggest that TikTok will launch its music service next month, with territories such as Brazil, India, and Indonesia mooted as being the first to benefit from the service.

There are plans to make the TIkTok music streaming service available in the United States and other Western markets as well, but the company behind the app states that this may take some time. We certainly shouldn’t expect to see TikTok music streaming available in the United States during 2019.

TikTok app
TikTok has been a huge success, with its parent company now valued at over $75 billion. Photo: TikTok.

One-billion users

TikTok is a Chinese iOS and Android social media video application, produced by ByteDance, which has become hugely popular in the worlds most populated country. TikTok already boasts an audience in excess of one-billion users, and owes much of its success to music and music videos.

Since its initial launch in China, TikTok has also become hugely popular in Western markets as well, and indeed became the most downloaded app in the United States in October 2018. By achieving this, TikTok became the first Chinese app to become the most downloaded in America, while the developers have since expanded its reach to 150 countries and 75 languages.

Talks between ByteDance and the big record labels will be critical in order to put the global licensing deals in place required to make the project a success. But the vast audience that TikTok already enjoys, coupled with its successes in key markets such as China and the United States, suggest they will have no problem in securing suitable content.

And it is promising for the company that it has already managed to secure deals with the likes of T-Series and Times Music.

TikTok music app
The TikTok app mixes music and videos, particularly appealing to teenagers and millennials. Photo: Aaron Yoo via Flickr.

ByteDance success

Breakdance was only founded back in 2012, by software engineer Zhang Yiming, but the company has since grown into an extraordinary success story, currently being valued at approximately $75 billion. The TikTok app has very much tapped into the social media zeitgeist in recent years, and is now part of everyday life for millions of young people all over the world.

The company is headquartered in Los Angeles, but has also established offices in London, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore, Jakarta, Mumbai, and Moscow. But the application has recently encountered difficulties as well, with the National Music Publishers’ Association suggesting just last month that the re-sharing platform has consistently violated US copyright law.

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