TikTok has already dominated the short-video and social media market and is now looking to take on Spotify and Apple Music with its latest offering.
The company announced today that it’s launching a new subscription-only music streaming service called “TikTok Music” in Brazil and Indonesia. TikTok Music lets users sync the service to their existing TikTok accounts and listen, download and share songs. The service includes the catalogs of major record companies, including Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Sony Music.
TikTok Music lets you play full versions of viral TikTok songs, discover personalized music recommendations, access lyrics in real time, create collaborative playlists with friends, import your music library and find songs via lyrics search. The service also includes a Shazam-like feature that can identify music that you’re listening to. Like Spotify Premium, TikTok Music lets users download songs for offline listening. The service also includes social features, as TikTok notes that users can express themselves through comments and connect with other music lovers.
When asked if TikTok plans to launch the streaming service in the United States, a spokesperson for the company said TikTok doesn’t have anything to share at the moment. “We are excited about the opportunities for TikTok Music, for music fans, artists and the industry, but we don’t have any more news to share on future plans,” the spokesperson said in an email.
The service will replace ByteDance’s existing streaming service, Resso, which will shut down on September 5 in Brazil and Indonesia. Resso also operates in India, but TikTok hasn’t said when or if TikTok Music will launch in the country.
A TikTok Music subscription costs $3.49 a month in Brazil, and $3.25 for iOS users in Indonesia. Android users in Indonesia will pay $2.96 a month for the first year, then $3.25 afterwards. TikTok Music doesn’t include a free membership option, but offers a one-month free trial.
“We are pleased to introduce TikTok Music, a new kind of service that combines the power of music discovery on TikTok with a best-in-class streaming service. TikTok Music will make it easy for people in Indonesia and Brazil to save, download and share their favourite viral tracks from TikTok,” said Ole Obermann, global head of Music Business Development at TikTok, in a statement. “We are excited about the opportunities TikTok Music presents for both music fans and artists, and the great potential it has for driving significant value to the music industry.”
Today’s announcement doesn’t come as a surprise, especially since TikTok parent company ByteDance filed a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in May 2022 for a service called “TikTok Music.”
TikTok is already a popular tool for discovering music, and oftentimes can lead to songs rising in popularity after they’re used in viral videos and trends. By offering users a way to listen to and discover music, the company is directly competing with the likes of Spotify, Apple and Amazon. However, it’s worth noting that Spotify and Amazon Music offer ad-supported, free memberships.
In order to compete with popular music streaming services, TikTok will have to offer an interface that’s worth switching over for, while also providing value for users. For instance, TikTok Music is only slightly cheaper than Spotify Premium in Brazil and Indonesia, so it may be difficult for the company to convince users to choose its service over a competitor’s.
Although today’s announcement doesn’t include anything about podcast and radio content, ByteDance’s trademark application from last year suggested that the service could be used to “provide users with podcast and radio broadcast content.” The addition of podcast content alongside music would make TikTok Music an even bigger competitor to Apple Music and Spotify.