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TikTok moving into audio is already the subject of frenetic speculation, with rumours that a TikTok Music streaming service (or just a geographic expansion of Resso with deeper TikTok integration) may be imminent.

However, a report yesterday suggested that TikTok’s tanks aren’t just rumbling towards Spotify, Apple, Amazon and YouTube’s music lawns. “Social media app TikTok is preparing to launch a podcast app,” declared podcasting industry site Podnews.

Is it really? Well, the story is based on a podcast-hosting company called Audiomeans spotting a “new bot that is scraping our feeds, starting October 11” – scraping feeds being the way podcast apps pull in publicly-available shows – with the bot being traced back to IP addresses in Singapore that appear to belong to TikTok.

Podcasts in TikTok’s main app? Podcasts as part of whatever music streaming service it launches, to match the established rivals? It would be a logical move, and some interesting potential for the future.

Launching a podcast has become one of the common next steps for TikTokers who have built a strong audience on the platform. If it added podcasts, TikTok might be in a strong position to bag (and, indeed, to talent-spot and commission) some of those shows on an exclusive basis.

It’s all speculation for now, anyway. Something that’s more concrete today are some changes to the way livestreaming works on TikTok, which were announced by the company itself.

TikTok Live’s ‘multi-guest’ feature has been upgraded, so livestreamers on the app can now invite up to five guests or co-hosts. Good news for music groups who won’t need to crowd into the same camera frame…

Well, good news as long as they’re old enough. TikTok is upping the minimum age for hosting livestreams on its app from 16 to 18, on safety grounds. It will also soon allow creators to mark their livestreams as adults-only so that under-18s can’t watch, while introducing more tools to help filter out inappropriate comments on their streams.

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Music Ally's Head of Insight

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