Startup

Bytedance pilots new music app in India, Indonesia

Chinese internet titan Bytedance began testing a new music app in India and Indonesia, with hopes to replicate the success of its short-video app TikTok.

Since its initial launch six months ago, the new app, called Resso, has been installed in about 27,000 mobile devices via the App Store and Google Play Store, Bloomberg reported, citing numbers from Sensor Tower. The data also showed that the app began gaining traction during the end of November.

Earlier, it was reported that Bytedance was set to take on the likes of Spotify and Apple Music with its own music-streaming service, with planned initial launches in Indonesia, India, and Brazil.

“The dilemma for all three companies [Spotify, Apple Music, and Resso] is how to monetize a price-sensitive user base with low relative incomes,” Michael Norris, research and strategy manager at Shanghai-based consultancy AgencyChina, told Bloomberg. “At the moment, it’s a race for active users in the developing world.”

To separate itself from other more established services, Resso displays lyrics in real time and allows users to post comments on individual songs. It also borrows features from TikTok, so users are able to generate music-accompanied GIFs and videos.

Resso offers a monthly subscription service, which costs the same as Spotify’s 119 rupees (US$1.70) offer in India. With a subscription, Resso users can download songs for offline consumption and listen to music ad-free.

While Bytedance has already secured rights from Indian labels T-Series and Times Music, it has yet to land deals with the world’s three largest music companies – Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment – according to the report.

“Resso is currently in a beta testing phase,” a Resso representative told Bloomberg in a statement. “We are optimistic about its long-term prospects but we are still very early in the process and only in a limited number of developing markets.”

Meanwhile, Bytedance’s TikTok is currently under scrutiny in the US over security and privacy concerns. The US Army announced last month that it was undertaking a security assessment of the app due to national security concerns over the app’s handling of user data.

Shortly after, Bytedance opened risk analyst positions under its trust and safety teams located in the US, Singapore, and Dublin to monitor public sentiment and analyze local regulations.

Source: Tech in Asia

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