ByteDance, the parent company of social video app TikTok, is in talks with the major labels to secure global licenses to launch a new streaming service, sources tell Billboard. The deal, which is being negotiated alongside license renewals for TikTok, will create a new entrant in the music streaming race and give Tencent another challenger in the Chinese market. The music service, which ByteDance has been demoing for a select group of insiders, has been called “a whole new take on streaming” by an industry source who has seen it and will heavily incorporate social networking features, according to sources. ByteDance declined to comment.
Social networks designed around music haven’t done well -- Apple tried and failed twice with Ping and Connect -- but ByteDance has a built-in audience of over 1 billion monthly active users across all of its apps; it also has access to a younger demographic than Apple does. ByteDance initially planned to launch the streaming service (which will reportedly feature both free and paid versions) before the end of the year, which could still happen, but as negotiations continue the launch could be pushed back to 2020.