TikTok could have a music app in the works
A TikTok Music app could be in development for the US market, according to a filing by ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
As previously reported by Business Insider, ByteDance filed a trademark application with the USPTO on May 9. The request lists a variety of potential goods and services, including “allowing users to buy, play, share, download music, songs, albums, [and] lyrics”, as well as “live audio and video interactive multimedia programs in the field of entertainment, fashion, sports and current affairs”.
The app also lists some potential social functions for the app, including the ability to “comment on” songs and albums, share lyrics and quotes, a karaoke function, and sending messages and multimedia between users. .
While trademarking is new in the US, the idea of a TikTok-adjacent streaming service is not. ByteDance already has a music streaming app called Resso, which is available in India, Brazil, and Indonesia. The streaming app incorporates many potential social elements that could be part of TikTok Music, such as lyric image sharing, track commenting, and playlist sharing.
According to the Patent and Trademark Office, an examining attorney will be assigned to the trademark application approximately six months after the filing date, which means the application will likely be reviewed in early November.
While the app’s exact development and release plans are unclear, a TikTok Music service could complement the impact the main app is already having in the music industry. TikTok’s short-form videos regularly explain songs and musicians’ skyrocketing fame, with tracks like Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road, Stay by the Kid Laroi and Driving license by Olivia Rodrigo all becoming viral sensations on the app before charting on Billboard. TikTok could use the musical interest of its existing users as an on-ramp to a new service.
But TikTok’s meteoric growth doesn’t necessarily translate into a disruptive popular music service. YouTube, the world’s largest online video source, is the go-to place to watch music videos, but after years of operating its own music streaming service, YouTube Music’s share of global customers music streaming is still only a fraction of that of Spotify. YouTube, which dominates global online music listening because so many people go there to “listen” to music videos, has more than 2 billion monthly active users; TikTok has over a billion.
TikTok and ByteDance did not immediately respond to requests for comment.