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ByteDance to launch music streaming app for Chinese listeners

Written by Jiaxing Li Published on     2 mins read

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Changes in Tencent Music Entertainment’s business offer an opening for ByteDance to step into music streaming.

ByteDance will roll out a music streaming service in China later this year, 36Kr reported on Thursday.

The music app, internally called “Luna,” is reportedly under development and is tentatively named “Feiyue,” merging the Chinese characters for “flight” and “music.” The team behind TikTok sibling Douyin is overseeing the buildout of Luna, according to 36Kr.

To differentiate the product from other music streaming platforms, ByteDance plans to collaborate with independent artists and develop related business lines like copyright management and distribution. It will also seek music licensing deals with record labels.

TikTok did not respond to KrASIA’s request for comment.

This is at least the second attempt for ByteDance to develop a music streaming app for Chinese consumers. In 2020, the company suspended its first China-focused music streaming project due to a lack of copyright for popular content and unclear product positioning.

In March last year, ByteDance launched the music streaming platform Resso in India and Indonesia and achieved remarkable success. Riding on the popularity of TikTok, Resso soon attracted a large Gen Z following and was honored as one of Android’s best apps in 2020.

ByteDance’s renewed ambitions to stream music in China may be related to recent changes in the status of Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TME), which was ordered to terminate its exclusive copyright agreements with record labels in August. This created an entry point in a sector that was previously inaccessible for ByteDance.

The lower barrier to entry is available to other companies too, meaning competition will only become fiercer. With TME’s exclusive streaming deals no longer in place, the only way for music streaming platforms to stand out is by featuring independent artists who aren’t hosted on other apps or websites, an individual who works for TME said to 36Kr.

In July, ByteDance began internal testing of a music distribution platform called Galaxy Ark (Yinhefangzhou), according to TechPlanet. The platform helps independent musicians manage the distribution of their catalog.

Read this: Stripped of exclusive music rights, TME’s star fades as ByteDance and NetEase eye center stage

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