TikTok owner to launch Spotify rival – report

TikTok owner ByteDance is planning to launch a paid music streaming service to rival the likes of Spotify and Apple Music.

The platform will primarily be aimed at users in emerging markets where leading streaming services have not yet scaled, and could launch as soon as fall 2019 “in a number of territories”, according to a report in Bloomberg.

Bloomberg’s report also states that ByteDance has already inked deals for the platform with two of India’s largest labels, T-Series and Times Music.

The unnamed app will offer on-demand music an video and has reportedly already been demonstrated to “many music executives”.

While ByteDance has secured rights from the likes of T-Series and Times Music, it is yet to lock down deals with Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony Music.

The three major music groups already want more money for music played on TikTok and its China-based equivalent Douyin, with a report in April stating that the three companies could potentially pull their catalogs from the apps if no progress is made before the expiration of their deals.

According to Bloomberg, citing sources, Universal , Warner and Sony Music “won’t grant the rights for the [new] paid music service without sorting out the rights for TikTok as well”.

As of February 2019, TikTok had secured more than 1 billion downloads worldwide via the App Store and Google Play, including its lite versions and regional variations. Approximately 663m TikTok downloads happened in 2018 alone.

ByteDance was founded by software engineer Zhang Yiming in 2012 and is valued at around $75 billion.

Its TikTok app is a short-form mobile video and live video streaming platform based in Los Angeles, with offices in London, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore, Jakarta, Mumbai, and Moscow.

ByteDance acquired karaoke app Musical.ly in November 2017 for a pricetag in excess of $800m.Music Business Worldwide