Does the overcrowded and fierce music streaming business have space for an additional player? The most valuable startup in the world without a doubt.
The Chinese conglomerate ByteDance, with a value of more than $ 75 billion, he is working on a music streaming service, two sources familiar with the TechCrunch affair of customs. The company, which operates the popular TikTok application, has handled discussions with music labels in recent months to launch the application in this quarter, one of the sources said.
The application will offer free premium levels and with advertising support, according to one of the sources. Bloomberg, who wrote for the first time about the premium application, reported that ByteDance is targeting emerging markets with its new music application. A spokesman for ByteDance declined to comment.
For ByteDance, interest in a music application is not a surprise. Fragments of pop songs from movies and albums interlaced with videos recorded by its huge user base are part of the charm of the service. The company already works with music brands around the world to authorize the use of its tracks on its platform. In China, where ByteDance claims to have links to more than 800 labels, it has aggressively expanded to find musical talents and its own clues.
In addition, ByteDance has been expanding its application portfolio in recent months. Earlier this year, the company launched Duoshan, a video chat application that appears to be a mix of TikTok and Snap. This week, Feiliao was launched, another chat application that focuses primarily on text-based conversations. At some point, the company may have a need for an independent music consumption application.
When asked about TikTok association with music labels last month, Todd Schefflin, head of global music business development at TikTok, customs WSJ that music is part of the "creative DNA" of the application, but it is "ultimately for the creation and visualization of short videos, not a product for the consumption of music".
The Chinese private company is probably considering India as a key market for its music application. In addition, it is estimated that its applications have more than 300 million active monthly users in the nation, although there could be significant overlaps between them.
It is possible that India has also inspired ByteDance to consider a free and publicized version of its music application. Even more than 150 million users in India listen to music online, only a small part of this user base is willing to pay for it.
This has turned India into a unique battlefield for local and international music giants, most of which offer a free version of their applications on the market with advertising. Even Apple's premium offers and spotify It costs less than $ 1.2 a month. India is the only market where Spotify offers a free version of its application that has access to the entire catalog upon request.
The launch of the application could refocus attention on ByteDance in India, where its TikTok application recently landed in hot water. An Indian court banned the application for about a week after expressing concern about the questionable content on the platform. Since the nation lifted the ban on TikTok, the company has become visibly cautious about its movement.