After dominating the short video market, TikTok may be considering a music service – TechCrunch

TikTok parent company ByteDance filed a trademark application for a service called “TikTok Music” with the US Patent and Trademark Office in May. The filing, first spotted by Business Insider, suggests the mark could be applied to a mobile app that would allow users to buy, play, share, and download music.

Already a popular music discovery tool, the short form video app can often lead to songs gaining popularity after being 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 landed on the Billboard 100 chart. Additionally, a recent report by a UK music investor suggests that songs popular on TikTok generate additional views on YouTube and streams on other platforms like Spotify.

While TikTok is popularizing these songs, it doesn’t have its own music streaming platform — at least in the US — to monetize it. Instead, users turn to popular services like Spotify or Apple Music to play their favorite TikTok songs. However, TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, operates a music streaming service called Resso in India, Brazil, and Indonesia, and we know it had previously considered bringing that service to more markets.

A former ByteDance employee told TechCrunch the company had indeed considered launching Resso in various global markets under the moniker “TikTok Music.” In particular, launches in mature markets such as the UK and Australia have been considered, the source said.

Resso’s app could pose a real threat to existing US streamers given its close ties to TikTok and its social networking aspects. Currently, Resso offers a TikTok-like interface that allows users to skip through songs by scrolling up and down. It also has the ability to comment on songs and albums and edit the cover art of users’ playlists – similar to what the TikTok Music brand suggests.

The app has made solid strides in its existing markets, mobile data shows. According to analytics firm SensorTower, the company saw 42.3 million downloads from the App Store and Google Play from January to May this year — a 19% year-over-year growth for the same period. The music streaming app had a total of 184 million lifetime downloads.

ByteDance’s submission lists numerous use cases for the TikTok Music brand. One use case outlined in the submission for “TikTok Music” includes an app that would allow users to live stream audio and video, along with the option to “edit and upload photos as playlist covers.” The app would also allow users to leave comments on music, songs and albums, the filing said. Another use case suggests that the service could be used to “live stream interactive audio and video media programming in the fields of entertainment, fashion, sports and current events.” The filing also suggests the app could be used to “deliver podcast and radio show content to users.” 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. By launching its own music streaming service alongside SoundOn, TikTok would be able to offer a one-stop solution for both listeners and artists in the US

TikTok has dominated the short video market and was the first non-meta app to reach three billion downloads worldwide, according to Sensor Tower. Its growth has prompted companies like Instagram and YouTube to reconsider their platforms and business approaches due to the threat they face from the short-form video app. That makes his plans to enter the music streaming space a potential threat to established companies.

However, it’s worth noting that TikTok hasn’t proven successful in transferring all of its services to new markets. The company, for example, recently shut down its grocery shopping service in the UK after a disastrous start and a staff strike. TikTok’s UK employees had claimed a toxic work culture and violations of labor laws. That could thwart plans to bring other services — including Resso, a service by Chinese tech giant ByteDance — to the U.S. or other regions.

ByteDance and TikTok did not respond to TechCrunch’s request for comment.

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