TikTok Music Moves Out of Beta — and Adds New Features — in Australia, Mexico, and Singapore

tiktok music
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tiktok music
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A nighttime shot of Fullerton Road in Singapore. Photo Credit: Shubhankar Sharma

Following full-scale launches in Indonesia and Brazil, TikTok Music, the namesake video-sharing app’s standalone music-streaming platform, has officially moved out of beta in Australia, Mexico, and Singapore.

TikTok just recently confirmed this latest buildout of its international streaming service; the short-form mainstay’s ByteDance parent has operated a music platform called Qishui Yinyue in China since April of 2022.

For reference, July of this year had seen TikTok Music debut in Brazil and Indonesia, which are home to a combined total of about 500 million individuals. That same month, the aforementioned betas initiated in Australia, Mexico, and Singapore.

With one-month free trials available to new customers, the subscription-only service currently costs AU$8.99 (currently $5.71) per month for an individual account in Australia, MX$95 ($5.22) per month in Mexico, and S$7.90 ($5.76) in Singapore.

However, these promotional prices are expected to increase to AU$11.99 ($7.61), MX$115 ($6.32), and S$9.90 ($7.72) per month down the line, the appropriate sign-up pages indicate. (Even after rising, the costs will be well beneath what Spotify charges in the countries.)

Notably, TikTok Music’s expansion has brought with it multiple new features, among them a ChatGPT-powered search tool called Tonik.

Billed as something of a music-discovery assistant, Tonik is said to search for listening options via the typical queries (artist, album, and song among them) while also providing supplemental information about the involved artists, relevant nearby concerts, and more.

(In its Q2 2023 earnings report, ByteDance competitor Tencent Music emphasized the purported success of its own “AI music companion,” Xiaoqin. That the companies can pilot and improve features in China’s sizable and comparatively isolated market is worth bearing in mind.)

Additionally, TikTok Music now boasts group listening via “Party It” as well as tailored-listening support therein. The latter incorporates a swipe mechanism to enable fans to find music based upon mood.

In a statement, ByteDance’s global head of music business development and IP rights, Ole Obermann, touted the launches and the perceived potential of TikTok Music to drive “significant value to the music industry.”

“TikTok Music will make it easy for people to save, download and share their favorite viral tracks from TikTok,” the former Warner Music and Sony Music exec Obermann said in part. “We are excited about the opportunities TikTok Music presents for both music fans and artists, and the great potential it has for driving significant value to the music industry.”

In the approaching months, it’ll be interesting to monitor TikTok Music’s reach both in terms of the markets in which it operates and its subscribership. Despite facing all manner of lawsuits, allegations concerning user-privacy shortcomings, and related government scrutiny, TikTok proper remains extremely popular.

And as many of the app’s social features have been incorporated into TikTok Music (where users can comment on music and connect their actual TikTok accounts in order to add friends), the streaming platform’s interactive components could spur signups.

More broadly, having for some time offered music distribution and promotion tools, Disney– and Warner Music-partnered TikTok is quietly embracing AI, expanding on the e-commerce side, and investing in emerging artists.