TikTok owner ByteDance plans to launch music streaming: Report

TikTok owner ByteDance is reportedly looking to launch its music streaming as soon as next month, initially in emerging markets such as India.

TikTok owner Beijing ByteDance Technology Co Ltd is in talks with big music labels – Universal Music , Sony Music and Warner Music – for global licensing deals to include their songs on its new music subscription service, according to a report in the Financial Times. The service will cost less than $10 per month, which is in line with prices from Spotify, Apple and other music services in the US, though in India, many of these services are priced even lower.

According to the report, ByteDance plans to launch the music streaming service as soon as next month in emerging markets such as India, Indonesia and Brazil, before a future opening in the United States. The report is based on people familiar with the matter, though officially ByteDance has not commented on the report.

The on-demand music service will also include a library of short video clips for listeners to search through and sync to songs as they listen. TikTok continues to grow in popularity and in India has close to 200 million users, according to the company. A new report in Sensor Tower said the app has crossed 1.5 billion downloads on App Store and Google Play Store combined till October 2019.  A majority of the app’s growth continues to be driven by the India market.

TikTok downloads across the App Store and Google Play Store in India are nearly 466.8 million or about 31 per cent of all unique installs, according to the report. India accounts for 277.6 million downloads so far this year, which is nearly 45 per cent of all global installs for the app.

The video-creating and sharing app continues to grow in popularity in the Indian market, especially among the younger audience. In India, TikTok already lets users create videos with songs from popular Bollywood, even Western music playing in the background, which is a common trope used by many of the creators on the platform.

But with a music streaming service though, ByteDance will be competing in a completely different category where there is a lot of competition already. Global players like Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music, Google Play Music and Amazon Music, are already present along with JioSaavn, Gaana, Wynk from Airtel, Hungama Music app in the Indian market when it comes to streaming. Many of these services offer ‘free’ streaming with ads and cost under Rs 120 or under $1 per month.