A couple weeks ago, Business Insider reported that TikTok owner ByteDance had been granted a patent for “TikTok Music“–which, from the patent filing, looks to be a potential competitor for the likes of Apple Music and Spotify, where users can buy and/or stream songs.
At the time, it wasn’t clear if TikTok Music is an a separate thing that’s happening, or if “TikTok Music” was a potential alternative name for Resso—a music streaming service from ByteDance that operates in India, Brazil, and Indonesia—or if something else is up.
Now, though, we might have a clue.
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Music Business Worldwide has discovered what appears to be a job listing for a backend software engineer who’d be working on TikTok Music out of TikTok’s Mountain View office.
According to MBW, the ad says TikTok’s “mission is to build resonance and inspire expression through music, which includes Resso, TikTok Music and SoundOn.”
It also seemed to indicate that Resso and TikTok Music are in fact one and the same, saying, “Resso or TikTok Music, is a music app for Gen Z that launched in 2020.”
After Business Insider published its piece, a former ByteDance employee told TechCrunch that the company had considered expanding Resso to the U.K. and Australia under the name “TikTok Music.” (Worth noting here that the TikTok Music patent was filed in Australia first, then the U.S.)
Another component of all this is SoundOn. For those unfamiliar, SoundOn is an initiative TikTok launched in March that pitches itself as an incubator/monetizer/distribution hub hybrid for indie artists who want to get into the music business. If TikTok Music does become a standalone platform, SoundOn would likely be a direct source of content for it.
The job listing MBW found said SoundOn is “currently powered by TikTok (music discovery app) and Resso (music streaming app), but we plan to integrate more ByteDance products in the future.”
It adds, “Our key features now are: single song recommendations, comments, synced lyrics, [and] lyric video sharing.”
Judging by the listing, TikTok is trying to build toward a future where, after its core app makes artists go viral, it scoops them up, sends them through SoundOn, and then streams their stuff on TikTok Music, cutting out record labels and streaming service competitors.