Chinese media giant and parent company of TikTok, ByteDance, has expanded its operations in India with an entry into the music streaming market. The success of TikTok could be akin to this attempt made by ByteDance in the form of Resso, the anticipated streaming app.
“Resso is currently in the beta testing phase. We are optimistic about its long-term prospects but are still very early in the process to share any further details,” said a spokesperson from Resso
Resso is currently available in Beta version in India and Indonesia. Testing out Resso in its chosen markets gives ByteDance the breathing room to scale up the service slowly and out of the intense spotlight that’s placed on its other services.
What’s new on Resso?
The fresh music streaming app brings with it features that weren’t seen before on any other OTT.
1. Resso displays real-time lyrics and lets users post their comments under individual songs.
2. Users can also generate music-accompanied GIFs and videos, emulating a favourite feature of TikTok.
3. You can scroll through the interface to change the song and tap on the screen to pause it.
Resso offers a two-tiered subscription model, ad-supported (free) and premium. After a trial period of fourteen days, the app offers a subscription at INR 119/ month in India. The subscription offers ad-free streaming and an option to download songs. This puts Resso’s subscription (along with Spotify) in the premium segment in the already cluttered Indian streaming market.
The internet penetration in India is highest in Tier II and III cities, correspondingly, TikTok users are also found to be the highest in these regions. If ByteDance wants to convert it’s existing TikTok user base into paying subscribers on Resso, the challenge will be uphill considering the subscription prices of its competitors.
In a price-sensitive country as India, garnering paid subscribers acts as the biggest challenge. This is one of the reasons why many streaming giants have had to slash their subscription rates to meet the Indian consumers’ affordability. For instance, JioSaavn (999/year-399/year) and Gaana(1098/year- 399/year) had earlier slashed their annual subscription prices by 70%. Those cuts were focused on locking down customers for a year.
Apple Music (120/month-99/month) too has recently gone through this war of prices.
TikTok and Resso
The juxtaposition of music on a content-driven platform marks a bizarre recipe of success today. What TikTok is doing for artists is using other people to make content for them. The massive strength the users have to make a song viral takes place without any augmentation or forced viewership on the app.
While the application lacks licensing deals with two of the major labels, Warner Music Group, and Universal Music Group, Resso does have content from the other major, Sony Music along with content from Indian labels such as T-Series and Times Music.
TikTok currently has more than 120 million monthly active users in India. ByteDance was valued at $75 billion last year in part because investors are confident about its reputation as a mobile application factory. But the seven-year-old startup is still on the lookout for its next major breakout hit after TikTok and news aggregator Toutiao, its first signature application. With the paid music platform, ByteDance is also looking to expand its revenue stream beyond advertising to counter a slowing home economy that has dampened advertisers’ appetites.