Music is a powerful force in the short form video sphere — so powerful that it can resurrect a 37-year-old Kate Bush song. Today, YouTube Shorts announced that it will integrate songs you’ve saved on YouTube or YouTube Music into the video app. You can also save songs that you hear on Shorts to listen to later.
When you watch a YouTube Short, you can tap the sound button in the bottom right corner, which — like TikTok — brings you to a page of shorts that also use the sound. Now, a “save” icon will also appear on that page, allowing you to revisit the song later on YouTube or YouTube Music in a playlist called “Sounds from Shorts.” Conversely, if you hear a song that you want to use in a short later, you can save it to that playlist to access from Shorts.
With Sounds on Shorts, YouTube is finally taking advantage of what it has that TikTok doesn’t: an entire repository of YouTube videos and a music streaming service. But TikTok is supposedly eyeing a potential streaming service itself. In May, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance filed a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in May for a service called “TikTok Music.” The filing suggests that the trademark could be applied to a mobile app that would allow users to purchase, play, share and download music.
TikTok released a report last year that said 175 songs that trended on the short-video platform ended up on the Billboard 100 chart. So it makes sense why the company wants to deepen its focus on music.
ByteDance already operates a music streaming app in India called Resso. A former ByteDance employee told TechCrunch that the company even considered calling that product “TikTok Music.” TikTok also operates a music distribution and marketing platform called SoundOn.