Beijing-based TikTok owner ByteDance has set up a music business unit this year to take a slice of the music market dominated by giants like Tencent Music, according to an April 21 report by local media outlet Tech Planet.
ByteDance has four business groups involved in music, each responsible for a different type of music business, the report said.
In addition to its music content operations, ByteDance has a "China Music Business Expansion" unit that works with rights companies on a long-term basis, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.
Previously, Ole Obermann, former executive vice president of Warner Music, joined ByteDance in October 2019 as head of global music for TikTok.
Ole Obermann's specialty lies in rights, but the actual business is being run by musical.ly co-founder Alex Zhu, the report said, citing a music industry source.
With TikTok itself having a strong demand for music and ByteDance already having a music product overseas, Resso, the company's entry into the Chinese music streaming market is believed by industry insiders to be a matter of time.
ByteDance may let Resso enter the Chinese market under the name "Feiyue," having also acquired the related domain name "feiyue.com".
A week ago, ByteDance was hiring for 27 music-related positions in Shanghai, a number that became 36 on April 19.
If ByteDance consolidates its music business, it will combine playout, distribution and rights operations, and the streaming music market will see a new shift, the report said, citing music industry sources.
China's music streaming market is dominated by three pieces of software, Tencent Music, NetEase Music and Alibaba's Xiami Music, which ceased operations in February.
Notably, in the early days of Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, it was actually positioned as a short-form social video software for music creativity, which is closely related to music.
In 2017, ByteDance acquired overseas music short video products Flipagram and Musical.ly, which laid the user base for Tiktok's road to entry.