The Brag Media
News July 19, 2023

After Controversial ‘Test,’ TikTok Launches Premium Music Streaming Platform In Australia

Senior Journalist, B2B
After Controversial ‘Test,’ TikTok Launches Premium Music Streaming Platform In Australia

Just six months after running a questionable “test” on Australian users of its flagship app, TikTok is rolling out a music streaming service.

The short-video platform presses start on its on-demand music offering here, part of an international rollout that includes Mexico and Singapore.

The arrival of TikTok Music in Australia is initially in closed beta, with users being invited to try before they buy with a three-month trial. Just download that app.

It’s roughly two weeks since the premium streaming service debuted in Brazil and Indonesia, replacing the existing Resso platform, boasting what the company announced at the time would be a “full catalogue of music from thousands of labels and artists.” Resso had arrived in India and Indonesia in March 2020, before expanding into Brazil.

TikTok Music “is a new kind of music service that combines the power of music discovery on TikTok with a music streaming service offering millions of tracks from thousands of artists,” a TikTok spokesperson explained in a statement. “We are now beta testing TikTok Music in Australia, Mexico [and] Singapore, and will have more news to share on the launch of TikTok Music in the coming months.”

TikTok will hope to leverage the popularity of its app with Australian smartphone users. It’s a love affair that sees TikTok captures the attention of 8.5 million Australians each month.

On the flip side, TikTok has a strained relationship with Australian business and political leaders, one that hit arguably a low point in February when the brand confirmed it was running an experiment that would limit the licensed music some users can experience on the app.

ARIA engaged, as the trade body’s CEO Annabelle Herd called for TikTok to end its test “immediately and restore music access to all users and creators.”

The test was evidence of a full-blown contradiction from TikTok’s top brass, noted Herd, as it was “presented as an effort to analyse, improve and enhance the platform’s wider sound library, but as little as five months ago, TikTok’s chief operating officer Vanessa Pappas said that 80% of content consumed on TikTok is programmed by algorithms.”

And, she pointed out, this was counter to comments made in 2021 by TikTok’s global head of music, Ole Obermann, who said: “Music is at the heart of the TikTok experience.”

Separately, the federal government has banned the use of the Chinese-owned social app on government-issued devices, and the ABC is said to be conducting its own review.

TikTok Music

By using Aussies as guinea pigs, TikTok learned a few tricks.

Leaning on data captured by research firm, Bloomberg reported the number of TikTok users in Australia declined for three consecutive weeks after the test was initiated, and the amount of time spent on the app waned.

News of the product launch is accompanied with confirmation of a “multi-year, multi-product” licensing deal struck with Warner Music Group, a content arrangement that secures WMG tunes for TikTok Music.

For its Brazilian and Indonesian TikTok Music services, licensing arrangements are reportedly also in place with the other majors, Sony Music, Universal Music Group, though, MBW notes, it’s unclear if those two content providers on board for the Australian operation. 

Download the app here.


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