ByteDance, the owner of the Vine-like social media app TikTok, might challenge Spotify with a paid streaming service in emerging markets, according to Bloomberg. It could introduce an app (not named after TikTok), in several non-first-world countries where Spotify, Apple Music and other music streaming services have yet to take hold. As for content, it has reportedly secured music rights from several of India's biggest labels, including Times Music and T-Series.
ByteDance is already a player of sorts in this game with TikTok and its Chinese counterpart Douyin, which have been downloaded 500 million times. The apps have become surprisingly prominent in the music industry -- for instance, "Old Town Road," the current number one song, first developed a following on TikTok. In Asia, the biggest rivals of ByteDance's new streaming service would be Tencent's QQ Music and YouTube, both of which are free.
ByteDance has been expanding aggressively of late. Earlier this week it launched Flipchat (aka Feiliao), a messaging app that marries chats and video calls with a social network-style feed, chat groups and forums. The emphasis is on community participation, letting fans discuss movies, TV shows and other content in a variety of ways.
The app reportedly isn't just a clone of Spotify or other streaming apps and will have its own particular style. Given the social media aspects of TikTok and now Flipchat, it might focus on communities and not just music. So far, ByteDance reportedly hasn't secured streaming rights from big US labels, so it will likely focus on regions where it can offer up a decent choice of music, for now. There's no word on a monthly price, but it's likely to be a lot lower than Spotify or Apple Music.