Chinese tech giant ByteDance is developing a music streaming platform for the Chinese market and plans to launch the app later this year, Chinese media 36Kr reported (in Chinese) Thursday, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: ByteDance is upping its ante in the domestic music market after antitrust regulators ramped up supervision of the increasingly centralized industry. Regulators began by ordering bellwether Tencent Music to give up its exclusive music deals in late July. The move will give other players more opportunities to obtain licenses from major music labels.

Details: Dubbed “Feiyue,” the streaming product is managed by teams from Douyin, ByteDance’s domestic short-video unit. It has now entered into “a key developing stage,” the report said. 

  • ByteDance’s music business is led by Alex Zhu, a company vice president. The algorithm and marketing teams from Douyin have also played a role in supporting the operations.  
  • A ByteDance spokesperson declined to comment on the report.

Context: ByteDance made a foray into the music arena back in 2019, when it tested a music streaming app named “Yinyuebang” among company employees. However, the program’s development was stalled by a severe shortage of music copyrights. Yinyuebang was ultimately shuttered in mid-2020, according to the 36Kr report.

  • China’s digital music market is dominated by tech heavyweights and is highly consolidated. In 2020, Tencent Music accounted for 73% of the market share, while NetEase’s Cloud Village accounted for 21%, according to Cloud Village’s IPO prospectus.

Zhanhang Ye

Zhanhang Ye is a Shanghai-based reporting intern for Technode, covering the content and entertainment industry. Reach out to him at 295227325@qq.com.