A TikTok Music app could challenge Spotify and Apple

Considering how intertwined music discovery is with TikTok, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if the company launched a music streaming app of its own. Well, patent filings uncovered by Insider suggest TikTok’s working on just that.

TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, filed a trademark application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for “TikTok Music” in May. According to the filing, the service would let users purchase, play, share, and download music. It would also allow users to create, share, and recommend playlists, comment on music, as well as livestream audio and video. ByteDance already filed for a “TikTok Music” trademark in Australia last November.

ByteDance already has experience with music streaming. In 2020, ByteDance launched a music streaming app, Resso, in India, Brazil, and Indonesia. Resso has some of the same features described in the “TikTok Music” filing, such as the ability to create playlists, share songs on social media, and interact with the app’s community.

ByteDance even uses TikTok to bring existing users to Resso. According to a report from The Information, the TikTok app in Brazil comes with a button that redirects users to Resso so they can listen to the full version of a song they’re interested in, a move that helps keep users within the ByteDance ecosystem.

The Information also reports that Resso had over 40 million monthly users across India, Brazil, and Indonesia as of November 2021, a number that’s likely to grow. Earlier this year, a report from Insider revealed that Resso’s monthly active users grew by 304 percent between January 2021 to January 2022 in India alone, as opposed to Spotify’s 38 percent growth in the country during the same period of time.

It’s unclear whether ByteDance plans on developing a music streaming app based on the Resso framework, or if it will come up with something else entirely. Just like TikTok had a profound impact on the way social media sites operate, it’s possible that a music streaming app with TikTok ties-ins could change the music streaming industry, forcing services to adapt.

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