TikTok’s working on a spiffy Spotify and Apple Music rival – and it has a key trick up its sleeve

TikTok is releasing a paid music streaming service to take on Spotify and Apple Music in emerging markets this autumn, according to new leaks.

The app is being made by ByteDance – the owner of hit TikTok video app– will feature a large catalog of music and video content and is not expected to be a clone of Spotify or Apple Music.

ByteDance have already secured rights from T-Series and Times Music, two of India’s largest labels, and just yesterday it appointed Sameer Singh as its first monetisation head in India, suggesting that the country may be one of the first markets to experience the new streaming service.

Paid music services are the number one source of revenue for the global record industry but they have yet to catch on in a lot of Asia, the Middle East and Africa, these areas only accounting for about 10% of Spotify’s customers.

According to a report by Bloomberg, ByteDance is hoping to reduce its reliance on advertising and prove that subscription-based music services can thrive in emerging markets.

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ByteDance is currently one of the world’s most valuable startups, valued at more than $75 billion. Just last month, Todd Schefflin, head of global music business development for TikTok, told the Wall Street Journal that TikTok is part of the apps “creative DNA” but that it is “not a product for music consumption”.

The new app is ByteDance’s first venture into a platform designed purely for listening.

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Unfortunately for us Western music lovers, it seems unlikely that ByteDance will drop their music service in Europe or North America anytime soon. The Chinese company has yet to secure rights for the new app from the three largest music groups, Universal, Warner and Sony. Without this, ByteDance will have a tough time keeping up with industry giants, Spotify and Apple Music, over here.

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