TikTok’s father or mother ByteDance eyes a brand new chapter, in e-book publishing

After aggressively selling its new life-style social media platform Lemon8 within the U.S., ByteDance seems to be brewing one other content material app for its largest abroad market.

Lemon Inc, a subsidiary of ByteDance, has submitted a trademark software for a spread of e-book publishing services and products, in response to a submitting posted on america Patent and Trademark Workplace (USPTO). The trademark, which known as “8TH NOTE PRESS,” provides an attention-grabbing glimpse into ByteDance’s obvious e-publishing ambitions.

The trademark submitting was earlier reported by Enterprise Insider.

The listing of services and products registered with 8TH NOTE PRESS consists of an app to learn, obtain and talk about fiction ebooks in a web based neighborhood; retail bookstore companies; ordering books in audio, printed and digital codecs; publishing ebooks, audiobooks and bodily books; in addition to offering on-line, non-downloadable fiction and non-fiction books.

Companies register logos on a regular basis in anticipation of enlargement into new verticals sooner or later, however they don’t specify timelines or maintain the registrants to any obligations, so the transfer to trademark 8TH NOTE PRESS doesn’t essentially imply ByteDance is taking any materials steps into the publishing world but.

However e-book publishing and distribution do sound like logical subsequent steps for ByteDance given TikTok’s success in attracting e-book lovers to share beneath the #BookTok hashtag on the brief video platform. Although ByteDance posted a report revenue final 12 months as an entire, TikTok itself suffered widening losses, the Monetary Occasions reported. ByteDance is probably going keen to seek out new methods to monetize its a whole bunch of hundreds of thousands of customers abroad.

The trademarking effort is “not associated to TikTok” however ByteDance is “all the time exploring new alternatives,” in response to an individual with information of the matter. That’s anticipated given the bite-size nature of brief movies doesn’t sq. with long-form reads that require an extended consideration span.

TechCrunch has reached out to ByteDance for remark.

It gained’t be shocking to see ByteDance rolling out a standalone e-book app the place customers can, because the trademark registration suggests, learn, obtain, purchase and speak about books.

Whereas TikTok won’t be immediately distributing books, it could actually definitely assist drive customers in the direction of the potential e-book app — because it has completed for Lemon8 by recruiting influencers to advertise the lifestyle-focused social media platform.

The mountain of person knowledge and perception that TikTok has gathered may very well be used to determine what individuals prefer to learn, and the identical sorts of content material advice algorithms that recommend movies on TikTok may very well be used to introduce new books to learn on a separate app.

If ByteDance does wade into e-publishing, the query is the way it plans to compete with the trade’s big, Amazon, on publishing and distributing books. And the place it could match into what has formed up in any other case to be a fairly fragmented market within the lengthy tail.

There are scant knowledge on on-line publishing and Amazon has by no means revealed a lot in regards to the operation’s revenues and in instances when it does, it’s famously obscure about these metrics. It’s additionally an insurmountable activity to trace all of the books self-published by means of Kindle not least as a result of not all of them have their worldwide identifiers, or ISBN numbers, as analysis group Wordsrated factors out.

Amazon’s place as a well-liked writer, distributor and {hardware} participant (through the Kindle), nevertheless, doubtless offers it an outsized place in that market. Business pundit Benedict Evans estimated on the finish of 2019 that Amazon had “50% or extra of the U.S. print e-book market, and at the least three quarters of publishers’ e-book gross sales.”

ByteDance’s edge in books clearly lies in its sprawling social media empire the place authors and followers can join immediately and readers can share their ideas with others.

That position is, successfully, nonetheless up for grabs. The closest that Amazon has come to fostering a web based neighborhood for its readers is the acquisition of the social studying web site GoodReads a decade in the past.

The combination of GoodReads with different Amazon properties has been restricted at finest, with WiFi-connected Kindle readers sometimes seeing GoodReads highlights and GoodReads making Kindle the default buy possibility. However the 16-year-old e-book evaluate web site appears to be nonetheless going sturdy with 125 million “members” and three.5 billion books cataloged, in response to the corporate.

ByteDance isn’t any stranger to e-books. In 2020, information got here that it could purchase roughly 11% of the publicly-traded Chinese language e-book reader Yuewen (the deal went by means of). It additionally operates one in every of China’s hottest net novel apps, Tomato Novel, letting readers learn without cost however with advertisements or have them pay a month-to-month subscription price for an ad-free expertise. In 2021, it dabbled in operating an English net fiction app referred to as Mytopia that spanned the romance, horror and fantasy genres. It doled out rewards to draw novel writers, not in contrast to its giving money incentives to TikTok creators.

Earlier than Mytopia had an opportunity to develop meaningfully, it caught flak for launching erotica advertisements on Fb and Instagram. 8TH NOTE PRESS ought to know higher this time round.

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