The challenger: TikTok parent company ByteDance filed for a “TikTok Music” US trademark, per Insider, potentially positioning the social media juggernaut as a player in the music streaming space and pitting it against Spotify and Apple.
TikTok’s music inroads: TikTok is considered the go-to platform for discovering new music, which has propelled obscure songs into the Billboard 100 and Spotify Viral 50.
- The company already runs a music app called Resso in India, Brazil, and Indonesia.
- TikTok teamed up with Ticketmaster and now enables users to discover events and buy concert tickets through the app.
- The combination of social video feeds and streaming music on demand is a one-two punch that could augment TikTok’s dominance and create a super app.
Four other potential areas of growth: TikTok has the advantage of being a cross-platform service accessible across iOS and Android devices and on the web. This gives it access to TikTok’s 1 billion active users and makes it possible to expand its services ecosystem.
- Messaging and chat: Private messages and DMs are already possible on TikTok for registered account holders age 16 and older. TikTok can spin off a standalone messaging app that will work across platforms and devices, challenging the likes of Viber, WhatsApp, iMessage, and Google Duo.
- Mobile games: ByteDance already has mobile gaming aspirations. The Chinese tech giant produced $1 billion in player expenditures across its mobile games, a 16% increase from the year prior, per Sensor Tower. It could easily create a library of games exclusive to TikTok users.
- Online learning: TikTok could convert engagement into education by leaning into more informative content. The company already has a series of 30-second “TikTok Taught Me” ads, setting up potential for e-learning in snappy, bite-size videos.
- Search: TikTok is already nipping at the heels of YouTube in user time spent, and the service has similarly beaten Google as the most visited website in 2021. This positions it perfectly for a search play as well as a vital cog in any super app aspirations.
The big takeaway: While various competitors scramble to copy TikTok’s success, it could flip the script and similarly emulate competing services in a range of areas, securing future user growth and engagement.