TikTok owner ByteDance is planning to a launch a new music streaming service in China later this year.
The music service, currently under development, is dubbed ‘Luna’ internally and is provisionally named ‘Feilo’.
That’s according to news outlet 36Kr, which, citing ‘multiple independent sources’, reports this week that the team behind Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, is overseeing the build of the new app.
ByteDance started work on the app back in 2019 according to 36Kr, which writes that the company also previously launched a service code-named “W” domestically, which, supposedly ‘ended in failure due to serious lack of copyright and vague product positioning during the development process’.
The reported development of ByteDance’s new app follows the news that Tencent Holdings and its majority-owned music arm Tencent Music Entertainment have ended all exclusive deals held with global labels in China after being hit with an exclusivity ban by China’s State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) in July.
The new service will be headed up by Alex Zhu, Vice President of Product and Strategy at ByteDance, according to 36Kr.
ByteDance will look to secure licensing deals for the new app with record labels, but will also seek to work with independent artists.
Featuring independent artists on the service that aren’t featured on rival services will be a key differentiator for ByteDance’s new app, according to one of 36Kr’s sources.
In July, TechPlanet reported that ByteDance was testing a music distribution service for independent artists called Yinhefangzhou, or Galaxy Ark.
In July, Tencent was fined 500,000 yuan (approx $77,000) by SAMR and given a 30 day-deadline to give up its exclusive deals in China, following an antitrust clampdown in the nation.
TME was investigated in 2019 for striking exclusive licensing agreements with the three major record companies in China.
As reported by the South China Morning Post in July, the company, home to music streaming services including QQ Music, Kugou Music and Kuwo Music, is still permitted to keep its exclusive deals with independent artists, with a time limit of three years for such agreements.
According to Tencent’s announcement, the company is giving up the right to exclusive deals with relevant music copyright holders “except for the case where the exclusive cooperation period with independent musicians does not exceed three years, and the exclusive release period of new songs does not exceed 30 days”.Music Business Worldwide