TikTok parent company ByteDance has been trialing a music app called Resso in India and Indonesia for the past six months.
As first reported by Bloomberg – citing data compiled by Sensor Tower – the app has seen 27,000 installs across iOS and Android so far.
Bloomberg also reports that ByteDance, founded by software engineer Zhang Yiming in 2012 and valued at around $75 billion, ‘has quietly been testing the app’ in the two emerging markets with plans to take on Spotify and Apple Music in territories where they have not yet scaled.
ByteDance’s intention to launch a paid music streaming service first came to light in April, with Bloomberg writing at the time that the company had secured rights from the likes of T-Series and Times Music, but was yet to do the same with the three majors.
“Resso is currently in a beta testing phase. 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.”
Resso Representative, speaking to Bloomberg
Last month, it was reported that the Chinese company is currently negotiating global licenses with Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music.
Bloomberg’s article today states that these deals have not yet been signed and earlier this year the major music groups wanted ByteDance to pay them more money for music played on TikTok and its China-based equivalent Douyin.
ByteDance will of course need to lock down global licensing deals with the three majors before the service can be expanded beyond India and Indonesia.
As noted by Music Ally – which has today published a rundown of everything Resso has to offer – this crucial licensing negotiation phase is where Ole Obermann steps in.
The former Warner Music Group Chief Digital Officer and Executive Vice President, Strategy & Business Development recently joined ByteDance and TikTok as Vice President, Global Head of Music and according to his LinkedIn profile will ‘lead corporate development efforts for TikTok/Bytedance music initiatives.
Resso offers two tiers, an ad-supported, free version and Premium, which in India costs the same as Spotify – 119 rupees ($1.70) a month.
TikTok’s user generated content USP appears to have inspired various Resso features, including the ability to share and comment on tracks.
Users ‘can also generate music-accompanied GIFs and videos, emulating a favorite feature of TikTok’, according to Bloomberg.
“Resso is currently in a beta testing phase,” said a Resso representative said in a statement issued to Bloomberg.
“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, in October, the National Music Publishers’ Association suggested that ByteDance’s video app TikTok has “consistently violated US copyright law and the rights of songwriters and music publishers” and called for Government “scrutiny” of ByteDance.
The Beijing startup is now reportedly looking to separate TikTok from its China-based operations.Music Business Worldwide