×

TikTok Owner Preparing Streaming Service to Rival Spotify (Report)

ByteDance, the Beijing-based owner of the TikTok video app, is developing a paid streaming music service aimed at the same emerging markets that Spotify and Apple are seeking to explore, according to a report in Bloomberg. The app could be introduced as early as autumn, according to the report, which adds that the company has already secured licenses from the large Indian music labels T-Series and Times Music, although it has not yet struck deals with the three major label groups, Sony, Universal and Warner.

Reps at ByteDance did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment.

While the new app does not share a name with TikTok, Bloomberg’s sources said, the company will attempt to convert some of the app’s users into paying customers. It will “include a catalog of songs available on-demand, as well as video, and isn’t a clone of Spotify or Apple Music,” Bloomberg’s sources said, adding that music industry executives have seen demonstrations of it. ByteDance is hoping to use the app to reduce its dependence on advertising and prove the viability of paid streaming services in emerging markets.

Both Spotify and Apple Music have set their sights squarely on emerging markets, particularly in Asia and Africa, as sources for growth that they hope will lead both streaming services to profitability. Spotify’s Daniel Ek often speaks of the potential in markets that have not yet embraced streaming — albeit potential that adds up to significantly less than paid subscriptions garner in North America and Europe.

Spotify’s recent launch in India was bedeviled by a number of problems, including an already-crowded streaming marketplace in the country (several services were established long before Spotify), still-unresolved licensing issues with Warner Music, and a monthly subscription price of less than $2, significantly less than the $9.99 it charges in much of the world.

Variety will have more on this situation as it develops.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • A view of the SK Telecom

    Korean Regulators Approve Four-Way Streaming Merger

    South Korean regulators have approved the merger of the video services of three local broadcasters and SK Telecom’s streaming app Oksusu. The new service, operating under the name Wavve will launch in September and be Korea’s largest. Proposed in January as a measure to combat the incursion of international video players, the deal was given [...]

  • siriusxm on playstation

    SiriusXM Announces $4 Streaming Plan for Students

    SiriusXM took another step towards taking its subscription service past the car Tuesday: The company announced a new student subscription tier that gives eligible college students access to music and talk radio stations on their mobile and connected devices for $4 per month. Some of the content available for this price includes SiriusXM’s more than [...]

  • Mission - Impossible - 1996

    Stan Australian Streamer Inks Content Deal With Paramount

    Stan, the Australian streaming video firm owned by Nine Entertainment, has signed a content supply deal with Paramount Pictures. The multi-year agreement adds to Stan’s line up of arrangements with Hollywood suppliers that already includes MGM, Disney, and Lionsgate. Subscription video has taken off hugely in Australia, where there are now an estimated 12.3 million [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    ‘Good Boys’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Good Boys.” Ads placed for the comedy had an estimated media value of $4.42 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Janice Lee

    Asian Streamer Viu Adds Wattpad Development Deal

    Multi-territory Asian video streaming service Viu has struck an original content deal with tech-driven story firm Wattpad. Together they aim to develop film and TV series under the Viu Original label. Canada-based Wattpad hosts a vast library of user-generated stories, with a claimed user base of 80 million, including 22 million in the Asia Pacific [...]

  • Oculus Go Product Shot

    Former Oculus Head of Mobile VR Max Cohen Leaves Facebook

    Early Oculus staffer Max Cohen, who at one point led mobile product for the VR unit, has left Facebook this week, Variety has learned. Cohen’s departure is just the latest staff defection for Facebook’s VR team, which recently also lost its head of VR product, Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell. A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment. [...]

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Reportedly to Stop Targeting Ads in Videos for Children

    YouTube is finalizing a plan under which it would no longer serve targeted ads in videos that are popular with kids, Bloomberg reported, citing anonymous sources. The move is intended to appease U.S. regulators that have been investigating whether YouTube violated privacy laws that prohibit online services from collecting data on children, according to the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content