ByteDance discontinues the free tier of its music streaming platform Resso

ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, announced on May 3 that it will be closing the free tier of its music streaming service Resso. The move will take effect on May 11, and current users on the ad-supported tier will be offered a 30-day free trial of the premium service.

Resso premium is already a best-in-class music service with ad-free listening and a host of personalized and social features,” said Ole Obermann, ByteDance’s global head of music, in a statement. “Resso’s move to a premium-only service will allow the development of a better user experience for music fans, while increasing opportunities for rightsholders and artists. We are committed to building the world’s leading social music streaming platform and ensuring artists and music creators can rightly benefit from its growing success.”

ByteDance launched Resso in March 2020, and it is currently only available in India, Indonesia, and Brazil. The company is in talks with major music rights holders to expand its music streaming service into additional countries in Latin America, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

“Their plans in subscription are something we definitely want to encourage,” said a major label executive in an interview last year. “We love to see that huge funnel of a billion consumers connected to a value-creative experience. Music streaming has become a major revenue source for the music industry, and it’s great to see companies like Resso prioritizing paid subscriptions. It will help ensure a sustainable future for music creators and the industry as a whole.”

However, these discussions have been complicated by the music industry’s demand for better payouts from TikTok, which is also owned by ByteDance. “No one right now wants to help ByteDance expand into significant material marketplaces without them fixing the TikTok situation,” an executive told a music publication last year.

Sony Music’s contract with Resso expired in September, which means its catalog, including the music of stars like Beyoncé and Doja Cat, is not available on the service. Nonetheless, Resso’s focus on growing its premium subscriber numbers is expected to be a positive development for the music industry.

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