According to Bloomberg and other accredited sources, Bytedance, the company that owns TikTok, is in the process of developing a new paid music streaming service. Back in April there was talk of this news. South China Morning Post reported that they were planning on launching the service “soon”.
Bytedance is focusing on emerging markets with this new launch. It has been reported that they will be focusing and targeting on “mostly poorer countries where paid music services have yet to garner large audiences.”
No one knows much about the app except that it will include a catalog of songs and on-demand videos, and have options for a paid and free account. It isn’t an exact replica of Spotify or Apple Music says Bloomberg. Thanks to TikTok, Bytedance was able to acquire a large amount of users in a relatively short amount of time. They are also working on other apps to gain some popularity like Lark, a work messaging competitor for Slack and another app called Duoshan which is a lot like Snapchat. The music streaming app seems to be the best way to cover TikTok users to paying subscribers.
Getting people to pay for music streaming services is difficult, so ByteDance really needs the users from TikTok, since it is still not making any profit according to Billboard. Less than one percent of music subscribers in India pay for their services and 14 percent have a bundled subscription.
Since ByteDance secured rights from India’s two biggest labels, they see opportunity there for their first market of the app. Sony, Universal, and Warner- the world’s largest music groups- are re-negotiating deals for licensing as well. ByteDance needs to get an upgrade from a startup license to commercial license.