With label exclusivity deals having tumbled in China, there has been speculation about the potential for more competition in a streaming market dominated by two companies: Tencent Music and NetEase Cloud Music.
Could TikTok’s parent company ByteDance be the firm to provide it? Reports in China suggest it has ambitions on that front. According to news site 36kr, ByteDance is working on a streaming service “tentatively named Feile, and internally referred to as Luna”.
It suggested that the new service could launch later this year, and noted that a leading role in its development is being played by Alex Zhu. He’s currently VP of products and strategy at ByteDance, and was previously the co-founder of social music app Musical·ly, which ByteDance acquired in 2017 and merged with TikTok to kickstart the latter’s global growth.
ByteDance already has experience of developing and launching a new music streaming service with Resso, which soft-launched in India and Indonesia at the end of 2019, before an official launch in India in March 2020.
In theory, a new streaming service infused with TikTok’s short-video and social features could bring something different to the Chinese market. In practice, there will be important hurdles for Feile to negotiate. For example, a current crackdown on ‘idol worship’ by the Chinese authorities, as well as other regulatory measures affecting tech companies there – especially those attracting young users.