ByteDance, Grooving to the Tunes? TikTok Could be Eyeing Music Streaming

Intriguing Filing

ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, filed a trademark application for “TikTok Music” in May. It could potentially function as a music streaming service in competition with Spotify (SPOT) and Apple (AAPL) Music. Last November ByteDance filed a similar application in Australia.

The trademarked phrase would apply to apps on mobile devices and tablets. In the application ByteDance refers to users’ ability to “purchase, play, share” and download music. It also discusses the creation and recommendation of shareable playlists.

Distinguishing Factors

One of the way’s TikTok Music could look to differentiate itself from the competition would be its background in social media. The trademark application mentions the ability for users to “comment” on music, songs, and albums in a manner similar to social media networks such as TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. Spotify and Apple Music don’t have this function at present.

TikTok already plays a role in the popularity of music, given any of its short videos and viral trends are set to songs. Top curated playlists on music streaming services are routinely dominated by songs that achieved popularity on TikTok, or some that enjoyed a second run at the top of the charts — such as Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill.”

Growth Potential

In 2021 around 430 songs topped over 1 billion video views when used as sounds in TikTok videos. ByteDance says more than 175 songs that “trended” on TikTok eventually charted on the Billboard Hot 100.

Thinking ahead to how TikTok could pull off its musical aspirations, it’s worth looking at an app called Resso. The music discovery app is run by TikTok’s team and operates in Brazil, India, and Indonesia. It lets users share songs, lyrics, and make comments. Brazil’s version of TikTok has a button that takes users directly to Resso. That sort of function could end up a part of the US version, trademark application and other factors pending.

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James Flippin ABOUT James Flippin James Flippin is the son of a financial advisor who grew up hearing and learning about bond yields, interest rates, the stock market, and the ins and outs of Wall Street. After stints as a licensing and business broker for Marcus and Millichap in New York City, James moved into broadcasting and became a reporter and anchor. He covered crime, politics, finance, and tech at NBC News Radio while working part-time as a producer for SiriusXM. James graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics. He's also an accomplished podcaster with over 10-years of experience.

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