Chinese media outlet 36Kr reported on Thursday that TikTok’s parent company ByteDance plans to release a music streaming product for the domestic market later this year. The product is tentatively named Feile, and internally referred to as Luna. Currently, the app is managed by the TikTok team. ByteDance hasn’t yet offered an official response to the news.
The Beijing-based firm’s music business is reportedly supported by a front desk, as well as market and algorithm teams. The front desk is directed by Alex Zhu, Vice President of ByteDance Products and Strategy. Three staff members report directly to Alex: Cao Zhen, who is in charge of overseas music player Resso and the music library, Ole Bermann, who is in charge of foreign copyright, and Lu Xi, who is in charge of domestic music copyright cooperation. Next, the TikTok market team undertakes the cooperation and copyright publicity and distribution for Chinese musicians, while the algorithm team is responsible for technical support such as intelligent soundtracks and risk control.
ByteDance explored a potential music business as early as 2019, and planned to release a music streaming project in China named W. However, this project failed due to serious lack of copyright and vague product positioning in the development. In March last year, ByteDance released a music streaming app called Resso in India. But in China, because the music copyright market has long been monopolized by Tencent, ByteDance has little advantage.
In April this year, ByteDance announced the establishment of a Music Department, composed of TikTok Music and responsible for the domestic music business, China Music Business Development Group and Overseas Music Group. TechWeb reported that ByteDance organized alpha testing for Yinhefangzhou, a music agent platform, in July this year.
ByteDance welcomes a turning point to develop its music business in China when Tencent‘s exclusive copyright becomes invalid. On July 24 this year, the State Administration for Market Regulation fined Tencent for promoting exclusive music copyright and ordered it to lift exclusive music copyright within 30 days of the statement.
Compared with Tencent Music and NetEase Cloud Music, ByteDance’s key advantages are its publicity and distribution. TikTok could bring a high degree of online traffic flow for distribution, allowing ByteDance to support independent musicians. One Tencent musician said he believes that when the exclusive copyright expires, music streaming platforms will compete for independent musicians instead.