According to a report in Bloomberg, Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music could pull their catalogs from the apps if no progress is made during negotiations presently taking place ahead of the expiration of their deals this spring.
TikTok is a short-form mobile video and live video streaming platform based in Los Angeles, with offices in London, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore, Jakarta, Mumbai, and Moscow.
The app is owned by ByteDance, which was founded by software engineer Zhang Yiming in 2012.
Another ByteDance-owned app, Musical.ly (acquired in a deal reportedly value between $800 million and $1 billion in 2017) was folded into TikTok in August last year.
TikTok (and Chinese counterpart Douyin) is growing at an extraordinary rate – as of February 2019, the app has had more than one billion downloads via the App Store and Google Play.
According to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the situation, record labels want to be paid “hundreds of millions of dollars in guaranteed money” by music-reliant ByteDance, which is presently valued at around $75 billion, and which, notes Bloomberg, makes it the ‘world`s most valuable startup’.
ByteDance has reportedly agreed to pay more, however argues that it’s not a pure-play music streaming service, thus shouldn’t have to pay out what labels are allegedly asking.
TikTok is for short video creation and viewing, and is simply not a product for pure music consumption that needs a label`s entire collection, said ByteDance’s Todd Schefflin, speaking to Bloomberg.
The platform provides an exciting way for content to trend and break through to wider audiences.