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Is TikTok's Parent Company About To Launch a Music Streaming Service?

And if so, what is the fate of the popular social media platform?

TikTok
Photo by Solen Feyissa

ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, have filed for patent applications for an intellectual property listed as TikTok Music, according to the NME. And, if the reports are indeed accurate, could this mean that TikTok is about to launch a DSP in the vein of Spotify, Apple Music, or Tidal?

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Perhaps. Though, it is important to point out that ByteDance has already launched a streaming app — Resso — that is available in parts of Asia and Latin America since 2020. It could be that the patent request is merely to expand the reach of Resso, but it is equally feasible that the company is looking to develop and launch an entirely new platform.

If that is indeed the case, could it be the first death nail in TikTok's coffin? Currently, users are making great use of intellectual property, at least as far as music is concerned. If you haven't already seen a headbanging parrot listening to Rammstein, then you have no idea what else you're missing on TikTok.

Yes, parlance is up for grabs on TikTok, and creative users are encouraged to recycle any and all audio. To wit, any original audio uploaded by TikTok users is generally accepted as a quasi open-source sample. Within that context, TikTok is like hip-hop before copyright infringement laws were leveraged to choke out the genre. Hip-hop survived, but does TikTok have enough users in their ranks to inspire the same ingenious?

And, of course, there's always the elephant in the room: which is that social media as a zeitgeist conch is on the decline. Misinformation, exploitation, and flat-out user fatigue has lead to social media's irrelevance. Give it another 10 years and we'll look at it like we do a fax machine today. And why am I so bullish on this?

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Well, Twitter owners are looking for a parachute out any way they can, and making quite a spectacle in the process. The Platform Formally Known As Facebook more or less said, "Yeah, we don't do social media anymore. In fact, we don't want to be called Facebook anymore. We're about the Metaverse now. Call us Meta."

Add in TikTok's flirtation with DSPs, and it looks like the party's over—that is, if videos of headbanging cats is your thing. (And you know it is, man!)

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