ByteDance Ltd., the owner of the popular short video app TikTok, is reportedly working on its own music streaming app to challenge industry leaders like Spotify and Apple Music, according to newly spotted patent filings.
The trademark application filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for “TikTok Music” on May 9, 2022, by ByteDance Ltd. could be related to a smartphone and computer application that would allow users to purchase, play, share and download music.
If the filing with the USTPO for “TikTok Music” is approved, it could be used for “a variety of goods and services including a mobile app that would allow users to purchase, play, share, download music, songs, albums, lyrics.”
Other possible use cases for “TikTok Music” in ByteDance’s application include an app that would allow users to “live stream audio and video” as well as the ability to “edit and upload photographs as the cover of playlists” and “comment on music, songs, and albums.”
Further, it would also offer “downloadable mobile applications providing podcast and radio broadcast content” making TikTok Music an even bigger competitor to Apple Music and Spotify.
In the patent, the China-based parent firm apparently describes the app as offering “advertising services”, which would mean that TikTok Music could offer a free, ad-supported version similar to Spotify, whenever it launches.
Last November, ByteDance submitted a similar application for a “TikTok Music” trademark in Australia. The latest update, on May 13, says the USTPO will assign an examining attorney approximately 6 months after the filing date.
ByteDance is not new to the music industry. In 2020, the Chinese giant launched a music streaming app, Resso, in India, Brazil, and Indonesia, which offers a TikTok-like scrolling interface, and shows recommendations based on user’s browsing history. It also includes some of the features described in the “TikTok Music” filing, such as the ability to create playlists, share songs on social media, and interact with the app’s community.
If the TikTok Music app turns into reality, it could mean serious competition for Apple Music and Spotify. For example, TikTok is the only non-Facebook app to amass over 3 billion downloads around the world.
“Typically a company the size of TikTok or ByteDance is only going to file trademark applications for items that they’re seriously considering,” trademark attorney Josh Gerben of Gerben Law Firm told Business Insider.
“If you look back through any major company’s trademark filings, you’ll see ones that they filed that never came to fruition. But a lot of times they do. And a lot of times it’s something they’re seriously working on.”
It is important to note that not all trademark filings necessarily turn into an actual product and would launch anytime soon. Keep watching this space for more updates!