ByteDance’s TikTok Strikes Deal With Merlin To Take On Spotify, Apple


To take on streaming services in the class of Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Spotify, ByteDance’s TikTok has been creating a new music streaming offering. And it has now struck a licensing deal with Merlin, a worldwide agency that represents many artists and independent music labels, to have music used legally on the technology’s platform wherever the app is available, according to reports.

TikTok Global Head of Music Ole Obermann said, according to reports, “Independent artists and labels are such a crucial part of music creation and consumption on TikTok.” Obermann continued, “We’re excited to partner with Merlin to bring their family of labels to the TikTok community. The breadth and diversity of the catalogue presents our users with an even larger canvas from which to create, while giving independent artists the opportunity to connect with TikTok’s diverse community.”

The news is said to have importance as the arrangement is reportedly the first big music licensing deal that the company announced as part of its broader music industry efforts. The deal itself is said to cover short-form videos in addition to music streaming services. And the arrangement covers Resso, the upcoming music subscription service, according to an unnamed source cited in a report.

As previously reported, TikTok, with its array of quick lip-sync and dance videos, could become even bigger than rival Instagram per Snap Inc. Chief Officer Evan Spiegel. The executive, who was speaking at the annual Digital Life Conference, said he loves TikTok — and he’s not alone.

The app is made by ByteDance Inc. and has approximately 400 million daily users per Niko Partners estimates. TikTok was right behind Instagram in the number of daily users last year, according to App Annie, the app analytics company. Instagram, by contrast, attained the 1 million subscriber mark in 2018.

However, that could change. TikTok has been heavily advertising on Facebook, which owns competitor Instagram, and it has, in essence, been purchasing users away from its rival’s platforms.