ByteDance-owned short form video platform TikTok is reportedly testing a podcast feature that will let users keep listening to videos’ audio as the app operates in the background, as reported by Business Insider.
The feature could help TikTok not only become a stronger competitor to platforms like YouTube, Spotify and Apple Podcasts that already possess great power in the podcast industry, but also increase its revenue significantly by getting a share of the podcast ad spend which is predicted to reach $2.25 billion this year.
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In fact, this isn’t TikTok’s first attempt to enter the audio streaming market. In July last year, its parent company ByteDance filed a trademark application for a new app named ‘’TikTok Music’’. In addition to music-related features like purchasing, playing and sharing titles and albums, the app will also offer users the ability to access podcasts, the application document showed. The company has neither released the app nor shared further details since then though.
Last March, the company also launched ‘’SoundOn’’, its own music marketing and distribution platform that allows creators to upload their music to TikTok, ByteDance-owned Resso, as well as other platforms like Apple Music, Spotify and Deezer. It also pays them 100% of their music’s royalties, but that’s for a limited time, the company said last year.
The news comes two weeks after Apptopia revealed that TikTok became the most downloaded app worldwide in 2022, garnering 672 million new installs. While it continues to top app store charts, the app is currently facing legal challenges in various markets, mainly in the United States.
In late December, the U.S. House of Representatives banned TikTok from all the devices it owns, citing national security concerns. In addition, it has also been banned by more than 20 U.S. states now, including Wisconsin, North Carolina, Alabama, Utah, Nebraska, Texas, Maryland, New Jersey and Ohio, from being used on government-issued devices.
Last week, TikTok also received a fine of $5.4 million by the French Data Protection Authority (CNIL) over its website cookies.