ByteDance Ltd., the owner of popular short video app TikTok, is reportedly working on its own music streaming app to challenge market leaders like Spotify and Apple Music, according to new patent filings.
The trademark application filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for “TikTok Music” on May 9, 2022, by ByteDance Ltd. may be related to a smartphone and computer application that allows users to purchase, play, share and download music.
If the submission to the USTPO for “TikTok Music” is approved, it could be used for “a variety of goods and services, including a mobile app that allows users to purchase, play, share and download music, songs, albums and lyrics.”
Other potential use cases for “TikTok Music” in ByteDance’s application include an app that allows users to “live stream audio and video”, as well as the ability to “edit and upload photos as playlist covers” and “comment on music, songs and albums.”
Furthermore, it would also “provide downloadable mobile applications that provide content for podcasts and radio broadcasts”, making TikTok Music an even bigger competitor to Apple Music and Spotify.
In the patent, the China-based parent company apparently describes the app as offering “advertising services,” which would mean that TikTok Music could offer a free, ad-supported version similar to Spotify when it launches.
Last November, ByteDance filed a similar application for a trademark “TikTok Music” in Australia. The latest update, on May 13, says that the USTPO will appoint an investigative attorney about 6 months after the filing date.
ByteDance is not new to the music industry. In 2020, the Chinese giant launched a music streaming app, Resso, in India, Brazil and Indonesia, which offers a TikTok-like scrolling interface and shows recommendations based on the user’s browsing history. It also includes some of the features described in the “TikTok Music” archive, such as the ability to create playlists, share songs on social media, and interact with the app’s community.
If the TikTok Music app becomes a reality, it could mean serious competition for Apple Music and Spotify. For example, TikTok is the only non-Facebook app with over 3 billion downloads worldwide.
“Normally, a company the size of TikTok or ByteDance will only file trademarks for items they’re seriously considering,” trademark attorney Josh Gerben of Gerben Law Firm told Business Insider.
“If you look back at a major company’s trademark filings, you see the ones that filed them that never came to fruition. But often they do. And often it’s something they’re seriously working on.”
It is important to note that not all trademark applications necessarily become a real product and launch at any time of the day. Stay tuned to this space for more updates!