TikTok’s new music streaming app potential and improvements necessary.

TikTok's new music streaming app potential and improvements necessary.

TikTok Music: The Next Frontier in Music Streaming

TikTok Music

TikTok has taken the music industry by storm, catapulting new hits through viral video trends and propelling old tracks to the top of the charts. Now, the social media giant is leveraging its influence to launch its own music streaming app, TikTok Music. Although currently only available in select countries, including Brazil, Indonesia, Australia, Mexico, and Singapore, the app has already piqued users’ curiosity.

Insider recently gained early access to the closed beta version of TikTok Music in Singapore, providing an exclusive look at the platform’s features and potential. What we found was a music streaming app that not only mirrors the user-friendly interface of its video counterpart but also adds a unique social twist.

Just like TikTok’s viral video feed, TikTok Music includes a “For You” section that offers personalized song recommendations based on users’ listening habits. However, unlike major streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music, TikTok Music emphasizes social interaction. Users can comment on songs and react to what others are saying, fostering a more engaging and social experience. Tatiana Cirisano, a music-industry analyst and consultant at MIDiA Research, believes this focus on social features could be a game-changer in the streaming industry, particularly among younger consumers who crave a more interactive experience.

“We find in our consumer surveys that younger consumers are more interested in having a more social streaming experience,” Cirisano told Insider. “Spotify is starting to offer more things in that vein, but I just see it as an opportunity that’s ripe for TikTok’s taking.”

TikTok’s timing couldn’t be better, as it positions itself to capture the next generation of music streamers. By targeting users who have grown up with the TikTok app and are transitioning into the consumption phase, TikTok Music has the potential to disrupt the current landscape dominated by established players like Spotify. Cirisano believes this could be a cause for concern for Spotify and others, stating, “If they’ve grown up with TikTok before they are actually spending money on any subscriptions, and then TikTok Music is out there, that could be pretty scary for Spotify and some of these other players if they’re thinking about the next generation.”

While it’s still early days for TikTok Music, with its rivals already operating in over 100 countries, there is evidence to suggest that newcomers can find success in the music streaming market. YouTube Music, for example, has seen significant growth, reaching 73 million music subscriptions in Q4 2022, up from 23 million three years earlier, according to data compiled by MIDiA.

However, TikTok Music does face challenges, such as refining its “For You” song recommendations. Surprisingly, this feature, which uses a variation of TikTok’s industry-leading content-recommendation algorithm, fell short during our exploration of the app in Singapore. Nonetheless, TikTok Music impressed with its ability to curate unique song mixes, providing users with an engaging and seamless listening experience.

As for its international expansion, TikTok is yet to announce a release date for TikTok Music in countries like the United States. A spokesperson from the company has mentioned that they will have “more news to share” on that front in the coming months.

In summary, TikTok Music has the potential to disrupt the music streaming industry with its social-centric approach and the ability to tap into the vast user base of its flagship app. While it may be starting from behind, it should not be underestimated, as TikTok has already proven its ability to influence the music charts and drive viral hits. As the streaming landscape continues to evolve, TikTok Music could be the next big player, captivating the hearts and ears of young music enthusiasts around the world.