After having established itself as the most popular social network of the moment, TikTok could soon compete with the music streaming giants with its new Resso platform. An app that has already been tested in several countries and which could soon be launched worldwide under the name TikTok Music.
Tiktok: a passion for music
Music has always been at the heart of TikTok. In its early days in 2016, the app allowed users to dance and lip-sync to the most popular tracks of the moment. A concept that the brand strengthened in 2017 by merging with Musical.ly and that allowed it to establish itself outside of China. Very quickly, TikTok became the most popular social network among young people and quickly reached all generations. TikTok has contributed to the success of many songs, which are sometimes created specifically to become memes on the platform. All it takes is for a popular TikToker to use an unknown music in a trend for it to be picked up by many users and become viral.
Tiktok Music: the test phase
With the success of its social network, ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, now wants to tackle another highly competitive field: online music services. By providing its own platform, ByteDance wants to both diversify and return to the very roots of TikTok. A project that the Chinese giant has been testing for three years now with the Resso platform, available only in Brazil, India and Indonesia. Although the latter has been met with modest success, the app provider wants to open this streaming service to the rest of the world. To make this expansion successful, ByteDance wants to take all the recognition from TikTok by renaming its music service to TikTok Music. While the group is still discreet about this future service, a registration of the brand TikTok Music with the U.S. Patent Office reveals the ambitions of ByteDance.
By using the fame of the current most popular social network, there is a good chance that the TikTok Music app will quickly make waves. However, the firm will have to offer an ultra-competitive and comprehensive range of products to make a mark in an already very competitive market. For now, the Resso platform is described as a social music streaming app where users can share music lyrics, comment on songs, and create gifs and videos from the music.
TikTok Music: no HD music?
In the age of DAPs, USB DACs and Hi-Res streaming, it will be essential for TikTok Music to offer HD tracks to establish itself on the market. However, the Resso platform that marks the beginnings of the service is limited to a quality of 256 kbits, even for premium subscribers. Even Spotify, which is often criticized for its sound quality, offers at least 320 kbits to all its members. It may therefore be difficult for TikTok Music to convince music lovers at a time when behemoths such as Apple Music, Qobuz, Tidal and Amazon Music offer Hi-Res tracks up to 24-bit/192kHz.
TikTok Music: a freemium service
TikTok Music should be directly integrated into the TikTok app so that the 970 million users of the social network can discover songs by browsing videos. If TikTok Music keeps the Resso business model, the service could use a freemium system similar to Spotify. It will be possible to listen to songs for free, but with advertising. Users will be invited to subscribe to enjoy uninterrupted music. Pricing is still unknown, but it is likely to be highly competitive as Resso is currently offered at only $1.5 per month.
TikTok Music: a new competitor?
Although TikTok Music will be affordable, the streaming giants aren’t yet quaking in their boots at the sight of this newcomer, who doesn’t offer HD tracks and whose catalog is more limited. Negotiations are reportedly underway between TikTok Music and music labels, but discussions may take time before all parties reach an agreement. While TikTok Music is no longer a secret, its launch date is still unknown.