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Would a TikTok Music app disrupt music streaming?

Regardless if the rumor is true, music is already an effective strategy for TikTok marketers.

3 min read


Woman listening to music on TikTok


Rumors are afoot that TikTok might be considering launching a music streaming service. The possibility was first reported by Insider, which noticed a “TikTok Music” trademark application filed by parent company ByteDance with the US Patent and Trademark Office in May.  

The application covers a service that would enable TikTok users to buy, share, download and play music, create and share playlists, and comment on music, livestream audio and video. The filing also states the service would “provide users with podcast and radio broadcast content,” TechCrunch reports

ByteDance already runs a Resso music service in Brazil, India and Indonesia that it had considered bringing to other markets and is very similar to the recent filing, an insider told TechCrunch.

The rumors come on the heels of TikTok’s launch of SoundOn – a music distribution and marketing platform to help music artists expand their reach. 

“With the launch of its own music streaming service alongside SoundOn, TikTok would be able to offer a complete solution for both listeners and artists in the US,” write Aisha Malik and Ivan Mehta for TechCrunch. 


What a TikTok music streaming service might mean for marketers

If the TikTok Music rumors become true, it would be a major disruption to the music streaming industry, affecting ad buys across other platforms while potentially offering marketers an alternative to the likes of Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music.

Music is already a major driver of TikTok content and brands have been seeing organic success. The use of Kate Bush’s 1980s hit “Running Up That Hill” as a narrative device in the latest season of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” introduced a whole generation to the music artist, driving the track back into the charts, garnering 1.3 billion views for the hashtag, #runningupthathill, and generating many videos showing people discussing the track and its use in the show, such as this one that’s gotten 4.6 million views. 

An older example, and one of the first to truly show the power of music to drive organic marketing on TikTok, was 2020’s viral video from user Doggface, aka Nathan Apodaca, which attracted a whopping 86.6 million views, catapulted Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” track to fresh heights and was a marketing bonanza for Ocean Spray

And brands are even going one step further by creating their own tracks to engage the platform’s music-focused audience. Applebee’s just dropped an original “Taste My Face” track, created with Grey North America, to promote its new wing-flavored lip glosses in a “Saucy Gloss” campaign. A TikTok video featuring the track has already attracted 6.2 million views. 

It’s no secret that the use of music in marketing is effective, but TikTok has galvanized music as a marketing strategy, offering marketers a key way to delight and engage younger audiences.

“The recent short-form content revolution owing to formats like TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts have completely flipped the script,” writes Shubham Singhal, co-founder of The Girlfriend Box in this article for afaqs!  Singhal explains how to create music-focused campaigns, noting, “It is essential to identify the hook or drop of the song and curate a trend around it.”

Whether TikTok Music comes to fruition or not, marketers can already maximize their efforts on the platform with the clever use of music. 

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