TikTok owner ByteDance is heading to launch its music streaming service TikTok Music, rivaling Spotify and YouTube Music, according to reports. In addition to recent discoveries of TikTok Music brands in global markets, TechCrunch has now discovered newly added references to a “TikTok Music” service in streaming app Resso, owned by TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance. The code appears to suggest that user activity can be synced between the Resso app and TikTok Music, and specifically refers to a “music.tiktok.com” URL.
ByteDance already today operates the streaming music service named Resso in markets such as India, Brazil and Indonesia. But references to TikTok Music in the Resso app suggest the China-based company could sync user activity between the two apps. Additionally, the code refers to TikTok Music as part of TikTok.
It’s unclear whether TikTok will test its music service under the name Resso globally, or launch a separate app for it.
The company has also launched a site, “music.tiktok.com”, for certain regions – references to which were also found in the code – suggesting that the service could launch first in Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Malaysia and Singapore. You can’t download the client yet, and if you try to click the download button, a popup will say “We’re working hard to bring you the desktop version. Come back soon.
The mobile version of the site suggests that the download button will direct users to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
“Welcome to TikTok Music! TikTok Music, one of our services defined in the TikTok Terms, is a music streaming service that allows users to listen to music,” the terms page reads. Many pages of the site have placeholder text indicating that it is still under development, which could mean that ByteDance is preparing to start testing the service in certain geographies.
Code references aren’t the only clues that a TikTok Music brand is in the works.
The company also recently recorded verified “TikTok Music” branded social media handles on Twitter and Instagram, as well as region-specific handles for regions like Latin America, Australia, New Zealand and Asia, and countries like Singapore and Malaysia. These accounts 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 match information a former ByteDance employee told TechCrunch earlier this year. They told us that ByteDance previously considered bringing the Resso service to more markets under a “TikTok Music” brand. Specifically, it had assessed launches in mature markets like the UK and Australia, the source 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 go viral on TikTok and generate streams on Spotify and YouTube. A report released by the company last year suggested that 175 songs that were trending on the short-form video platform ended up on the Billboard 100 chart.
If ByteDance launches its own music service, it could direct those streams to its own app — be it Resso or TikTok Music — allowing it to generate ad and subscription revenue.
ByteDance has shown interest in continuing to invest in music. Earlier this year, it launched its own music distribution solution called SoundOn. With this service, the company pays 100% royalties to artists the first year, then 90% royalties from the second year. The platform also allows artists to drop teasers on TikTok to get early feedback.
The popularity of TikTok Music will depend on its ability to secure deals with major labels, which will allow it to offer users access to popular songs in addition to the original songs released first on TikTok. It could be difficult. In September, Sony Music withdrew its catalog from Resso, which, for example, caused negative reactions among users.
TikTok did not respond to requests for comment on this story.