TikTok owner ByteDance is moving toward a launch of its music streaming service TikTok Music, rivaling Spotify and YouTube Music, reports have stated. In addition to recent discoveries of TikTok Music trademarks in global markets, TechCrunch has now discovered newly added references regarding a “TikTok Music” service in the Resso streaming app, owned by TikTok’s parent ByteDance. The code appears to suggest that user activity may sync between the Resso app and TikTok Music, and specifically refers to a “music.tiktok.com” URL, as well.
ByteDance today already operates the streaming music service named Resso in markets including India, Brazil and Indonesia. But the references to TikTok Music in the Resso app hint that the China-based company might sync user activity between the two apps. In addition, the code refers to TikTok Music as part of TikTok.
It’s unclear whether TikTok will test its music service under the Resso moniker globally, or launch a separate app for that.
The company has also launched a site, “music.tiktok.com,” for certain regions — references of which were also found in the code — suggesting that the service may launch first in Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Malaysia and Singapore. You can’t download the client yet, and if you try to click on the download button a popup will tell you “We are working hard to bring you the desktop version. Check back soon.”
The mobile version of the site suggests that the download button will take users to the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
The site’s terms of service also uses the brand “TikTok Music,” we found.
“Welcome to TikTok Music! TikTok Music, one of our Services defined under the TikTok Terms, is a music streaming service that allows users to listen to music,” the term page reads. Many of the pages on the site have placeholder text indicating that it is still under development. This could mean that ByteDance is preparing to start testing the service in certain geographies.
The code references aren’t the only hints that a TikTok Music brand is in the works.
The company has also recently registered verified “TikTok Music”-branded social media handles on Twitter and Instagram, as well as region-specific handles for areas like Latin America, Australia, New Zealand and Asia, and countries like Singapore and Malaysia. These accounts have posted similar creative teasers saying “Welcome to a new way to experience music,” “discover your new favorite song” and “stay tuned” between April and May.
These moves fall in line with information a former ByteDance employee told TechCrunch earlier this year. They told us ByteDance had previously considered bringing the Resso service to more markets under a “TikTok Music” branding. More specifically, it had been weighing launches in mature markets like the U.K. and Australia, the source had said. Last month, The Wall Street Journal also reported that ByteDance was in talks with notable music labels to expand its streaming service to global markets.
A TikTok Music service would make sense for ByteDance as many hit songs first become viral on TikTok and drive streams on Spotify and YouTube. A report released by the company last year suggested that 175 songs that trended on the short-video platform ended up on the Billboard 100 chart.
If ByteDance launches its own music service, it could drive these streams toward its own app — whether that’s Resso or TikTok Music — allowing it to earn advertising and subscription revenue.
ByteDance has shown interest in furthering its music investments. Earlier this year, it launched its own music distribution solution called SoundOn. With this service, the company pays 100% royalties to the artists for the first year, then 90% royalties from the second year. The platform also allows artists to drop teasers on TikTok to get early feedback.
TikTok Music’s popularity will depend its ability to score deals with major labels, allowing it to offer users access to popular songs in addition to the original songs that launch first on TikTok. This could prove difficult. In September, Sony Music pulled its catalog from Resso, resulting in user backlash, for example.
TikTok didn’t reply to requests for comment on this story.