TikTok Owner ByteDance Plans New Streaming Service: Reports
The Chinese tech startup behind popular video-sharing app TikTok is planning to jump into the music streaming game, according to multiple reports. ByteDance, which is valued at over $75 billion, has held discussions with labels in recent months to launch a Spotify-like app -- meaning both premium and ad-supported tiers -- across various emerging markets.
Bloomberg reports that ByteDance expects to have enough licensing in place to launch the app by this fall. Rights have already been secured from influential Indian labels T-Series and Times Music, signaling a possible launch in the world's second most populous country. TechCrunch reports that a launch could come as early as this quarter.
A representative from ByteDance did not respond to a request for comment on the reports.
ByteDance's TikTok app has been downloaded more than 1 billion times, according to analytics company Sensor Tower. The free service does not run ads and until late 2017 had used licensing deals with major labels that were grandfathered in when ByteDance acquired Musical.ly. As previously reported, labels and publishers are in the process of negotiating new deals with TikTok that, they hope, will generate more revenue from an app that has grown into a valuable promotional tool for emerging artists like Lil Nas X.