Owner of the popular video app TikTok, is developing a paid music service that will challenge industry leaders Spotify and Apple Music
ByteDance Ltd., owner of the popular video app TikTok, is developing a paid music service that will challenge industry leaders Spotify and Apple Music in emerging markets, according to people familiar with the matter.
While the new app isn't named after TikTok, ByteDance will try to convert some of TikTok's audience into paying customers, the people said. TikTok and Douyin, its Chinese equivalent, have been downloaded more than 500 million times and have become two of the most influential apps in the contemporary music industry. The No. 1 song in the world for the past month, 'Old Town Road,' first became popular in videos on TikTok.
ByteDance's plans for a paid service were previously reported by the South China Morning Post, but the story made no mention of the timing of its release or the rights deals.
Paid music services have boosted music sales across the world, and are now the single largest source of revenue for the global record business. But the approach is still largely a Western phenomenon.
The most popular online music services in Asia, such as Tencent's QQ Music and Google's YouTube, are available for free. YouTube has had particular success in markets like India, Indonesia and the Philippines. TikTok was the most downloaded free app in India in the first quarter of the year.
Tencent's music services are focused on China at the moment, but could expand in the years ahead.
ByteDance has yet to secure rights from the world's three largest music groups: Universal, Warner and Sony. Their catalogues account for a minority of listening in most emerging markets, but would be vital if ByteDance wanted to expand anywhere in Europe, Latin America or North America.