TikTok is finally ready to challenge Apple Music and Spotify. After four years of speculation, ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, has finally unveiled its own audio streaming service, aptly named TikTok Music (via 9to5Mac). With an immense user base of 1.67 billion (1.06 billion monthly active users), TikTok poses a potential threat to Apple and Spotify.
TikTok Music’s Exclusive Release and Global Expansion:
You may not have heard of TikTok Music until now, and that’s because it’s currently available exclusively in Brazil and Indonesia. Unfortunately, users from other countries will have to wait patiently for its arrival. While plans for a global release have not been confirmed yet, TikTok’s massive user base leads us to expect a significant impact from its music streaming service.
They have your eyes, now they want your ears
In today’s music landscape, there are two types of listeners: those who still enjoy owning physical music formats and those who prefer subscription-based streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. With this new app, ByteDance aims to appeal to the streaming audience by offering unique features.
Users can sync their TikTok Music accounts with their existing TikTok profiles, access a catalog of hit songs from major record companies, download tracks for offline listening, and receive personalized music recommendations.
Additionally, the new TikTok music app enables users to play full versions of viral TikTok songs, collaborate on playlists with friends, import their music libraries, and even discover songs through lyrics search. The service fosters a social aspect, allowing users to comment and engage with others over shared music interests.
TikTok Music Pricing and Membership Options
TikTok Music does not offer a free membership option, but it does provide a one-month free trial. In Brazil, users will be charged $3.49 per month, aligning with Apple Music’s pricing in the country. Prices vary depending on the market, with Apple Music costing $10.99/month in Kenya. In Indonesia, the pricing structure is slightly complex, with iOS users paying $3.25 per month and Android users being charged $2.96 for the first year, followed by $3.25 afterwards. These competitive pricing models ensure a level playing field with established players like Apple Music and Spotify.
The Response from Apple and Spotify
While the new music app poses a formidable challenge, Apple and Spotify are not sitting idly. Spotify has been making moves to stay ahead by introducing a TikTok-like video feed in 2021, and they officially launched it in March 2023. Both companies recognize the potential impact of TikTok Music and are actively working on enhancing their own offerings to maintain their competitive edge.
There’s no word on whether TikTok’s new music app will serve podcasts or radio content. However, last year’s trademark application from ByteDance suggested that the service could provide users with podcast and radio broadcast content. The addition of podcast content alongside music would make TikTok Music an even bigger competitor to Apple Music and Spotify.
The music streaming arena is heating up with the arrival of ByteDance’s entry into the market thanks to TikTok’s vast user base. With exciting features, personalized recommendations, and a social engagement aspect, TikTok Music aims to capture the attention of music lovers worldwide.
While the service is currently limited to Brazil and Indonesia, its eventual global expansion could disrupt the existing landscape. As the battle unfolds, music enthusiasts can expect an exciting era of innovation and competition in the audio streaming realm.