TikTok is building a music streaming service to rival Spotify and Apple called Resso. The company has inked a deal with Merlin to feature thousands indie artists on the platform.
The licensing deal with Merlin is the first announced by TikTok in the music industry. TikTok has secured deals with other labels, but TechCrunch reports the deals are not public knowledge.
TikTok’s deal with Merlin gives us a first look at what may be the template for future music industry deals. The agreement includes provisions for music to be featured in short-form videos like TikTok and .
Sources close to TikTok are confirming the new music streaming subscription service – Resso.
TikTok’s move into the music streaming business has been swirling as rumors for several months now. ByteDance even tested an early alpha version the service in India and Indonesia last year.
The move into the music streaming industry may be a way TikTok is hoping to generate revenue. The massive user growth for the platform has led to several monetization attempts.
The Big Three labels – Sony Music, Warner Music, and Universal Music have yet to sign on. The deal with Merlin is the first its kind publicly announced by the company.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the TikTok exec who made the announcement is an ex-Warner Music hire. Obermann hired former Warner colleague Tracy Gardner to head up Label Licensing for TikTok. Just yesterday, TikTok opened a massive 120,000 square foot fice space in the .
With Merlin taking the plunge, it will be interesting to see how many other labels hop on board. TikTok’s efforts to establish permanent fice space in the U.S. may help with that.
Despite that, TikTok is still and is currently under investigation, however. That may lead some labels to shy away from public announcements for now.