Social media moguls keep making business moves within the music industry : after Tencent’s recent announcement regarding the launch of a Spotify for Artists-like digital device, some music experts have recently noticed that ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, has registered the trademark “TikTok Music” in the United States, which opened the door for speculation regarding the possible launch of a music streaming platform in the Chinese giant’s near future. While it’s no surprise that TikTok is keen to enter the music streaming industry – after all, the platform has released a music compilation of audios that sparked massive trends on its platform a few weeks ago – it is interesting to try to guess what TikTok plans to unveil in the upcoming months. Let’s dive in.
It all started with a newly found registered trademark in the United States : back in May, ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, aka the most widely used social media app in the world today, has registered TikTok Music in the US. This follows a previous trademark filing in Australia, this time dating back to November 2021, as well as an even an even older filing in China, this time from May 2018 !
And ByteDance’s moves won’t stop at a simple trademark registration : more recently, Music Business Worldwide wrote that TikTok was currently hiring various experts at key positions for its music service, including back-end engineers and music library managers.
Once launched, the music streaming service should allow, according to the US Trademark Registry, to play and share music, amongst other features. However, while we should expect TikTok to announce the opening of a music streaming platform anytime soon, it is best to think it will not only allow for music to be listened. Indeed, according to several online media, the platform will share features we often find on social media apps, such as the possibility of “broadcasting live audio” or even sharing, editing photos and leaving comments.
Will TikTok Music therefore look more like SoundCloud or Spotify? And will ByteDance merge Resso – a traditional streaming platform launched in 2020 – with its yet to be announced music service ?
– screenshot from Music Business Worldwide.
And there is yet another thing that surprised the music business experts lately : the fact that TikTok owns a patent for an original music listening experience… called Music Station. However, according to Music Business Worldwide once again, the patent for Music Station belonged to Omnifone, a UK-based platform acquired in 2016 by a “mysterious buyer”. So did TikTok’s managers start to develop a music streaming platform long before TikTok became the world’s number 1 social media app ? We’ll find that out in the upcoming weeks !
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