• TikTok owner ByteDance announces plans to launch rival music streaming app
  • Chinese-based company in talks with Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music
  • Music executives close to the matter “welcome” the new addition

TikTok (Ascannio shutterstock)

TikTok owner ByteDance to take on music streaming

Source: Ascannio / Shutterstock

Beijing-based ByteDance and creator of social video app TikTok is set to take on Apple Music and Spotify after announcing the launch of its own streaming service.

ByteDance is reportedly in talks with Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music for global licensing deals to include their songs on its upcoming music service, according to people briefed on the matter.

The Financial Times reported the Chinese technology company aims to launch as soon as next month, initially in markets such as India, Indonesia and Brazil, before plans to expand in the future to the US.

The launch into streaming music would see ByteDance compete directly with subscription market leaders in streaming music including Spotify, Apple and Tencent.

Last year Japanese investment group SoftBank valued the firm at $75 billion.

TikTok has quickly become one of the most popular social media platforms differentiating itself from the likes of Facebook and Twitter with its focus on user-generated content.

The app enables users to post and watch short video clips, which are often comedy sketches and dance challenges to various trending songs.

According to reports from TikTok, it has more than 1 billion users, which makes it more popular than more established social media platforms Snapchat or Twitter.

TikTok is currently free to use and an open opportunity for music executives to collaborate and make a direct profit.

The FT claimed ByteDance app is a “welcome addition to the music streaming market” and are likely to offer a similar catalogue of songs from Spotify, Apple and Amazon.

In addition to on-demand music, the planned ByteDance streaming app would include a library of short video clips that listeners could search through and synch to songs as they listen, according to music executives who received demos of the service.

Users would be able to send clips to their friends, as the app aims to encourage sharing and virality, and is designed for mobile phones with vertical-sized videos.

ByteDance’s music app has not been named yet and pricing remains unclear, although it is expected to cost less than the $10 a month charged by Spotify and Apple.

Subscription music has become popular in the US and Europe but less so in Asia, where Tencent has a strong following in the Chinese music market, a potential challenge for ByteDance.