After dominating the short-video market, TikTok may be considering a music service – TechCrunch

TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, filed a trademark application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for a service called “TikTok Music” in May. First spotted by Business Insider, the filing indicates that the trademark can be applied to a mobile app that allows users to purchase, play, share and download music.

The short-form video app is already a popular tool for music discovery, and can often grow in popularity after songs are used in viral videos and trends. A report released by the company last year suggested that 175 songs that trended on the short-video platform ended up on the Billboard 100 chart. Additionally, a recent report published by UK-based Music Investor suggested that popular songs on TikTok drive additional views on YouTube and streams on other platforms, such as Spotify.

While TikTok drives these songs to be popular, it doesn’t have its own music streaming platform — at least in the US — to monetize them. Instead, users turn to popular services like Spotify or Apple Music to play their favorite TikTok songs. However, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance operates a music streaming service called Resso in India, Brazil and Indonesia, and we understand that it is already considering bringing the service to more markets.

A former ByteDance employee told TechCrunch that the company had actually considered launching Reso in various global markets under the “TikTok Music” moniker. In particular, it was considering launching in mature markets like the UK and Australia, sources said.

Given its close ties to TikTok and its social media counterparts, Resco’s app could be a viable threat to existing US streamers. Currently, Resso offers a TikTok-like user interface where users can skip songs by scrolling up and down. It also has the option to comment on songs and albums, and edit the cover of users’ playlists — as suggested by the TikTok Music trademark.

The app has seen solid growth in its existing markets, mobile data indicates. According to analytics firm SensorTower, the company saw 42.3 million downloads from the App Store and Google Play from January to May this year – a 19% year-over-year increase over the same period. The music streaming app has a total of 184 million lifetime downloads.

ByteDance’s filing lists several use cases for the TikTok Music trademark. One use case listed in the filing for “TikTok Music” involves an app that allows users to livestream audio and video with the option to “edit and upload photos as playlist covers.” The app will allow users to leave comments on music, songs and albums, according to the filing. Another use case suggests that the service can be used for “livestream audio and video interactive media programming in the fields of entertainment, fashion, sports, and current events.” The filing also suggests that the app can be used to “provide users with podcast and radio broadcast content.” Adding podcast content along with music will make TikTok Music a bigger competitor to Apple Music and Spotify.

News of TikTok’s possible upcoming music streaming service comes after the company launched its music marketing and distribution platform, SoundOn, a few months ago to help more artists get their music heard. The platform allows artists to upload their music directly to TikTok and Resso, as well as global streaming platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Deezer and Tencent’s Joox. With the launch of its own music streaming service along with SoundOn, TikTok will be able to provide a complete solution for both listeners and artists in the US.

TikTok dominates the short-form video market and was the first non-meta app to reach three billion downloads worldwide, according to Sensor Tower. Its growth has forced Instagram and YouTube to rethink their platforms and business approaches due to the threat they face from short-form video apps. This makes plans to enter the music streaming space a potential threat to the incumbent.

Still, it’s worth noting that TikTok hasn’t proven successful in translating all of its services to new markets. For example, the company recently shut down its shopping service in the UK after a disastrous launch and employee walkouts. TikTok’s UK employees were accused of a toxic work culture and breach of employment laws. That could push back plans to bring other services — including Reso, operated by Chinese tech giant ByteDance — to the U.S. or other regions.

ByteDance and TikTok did not respond to TechCrunch’s requests for comment.

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