TikTok owner ByteDance launches music streaming platform in India

The logo of TikTok application is seen on a screen in this picture illustration taken February 21, 2019. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Illustration

Bytedance, owner of popular short-video platform TikTok, today launched its music streaming service called Resso. The app will take on homegrown competitors like Gaana and JioSaavn, alongside global giants in the space like Spotify and Apple Music.

While Resso is being first launched in India, Hari Nair, Head of Music Content and Partnership at Resso India said the idea is to be a global music streaming platform. The app wants to differentiate itself from others by taking elements from TikTok, which add a social aspect to music streaming.

Resso has a proprietary recommendation algorithm inside, which recommends playlists created by one user to others. The app’s user interface follows the same swipe up-down model as TikTok, and it has a feature called “vibes”, which allows users to add their own GIFs, images and videos to the platform, which will then be seen by others.

While Resso calls itself the world’s first social streaming platform, others have tried adding social elements before. Pandora and Rdio, two of the earliest and failed music streaming platforms were known for trying to get users to interact on the platform.

The objective seems to be to keep a user on the app while listening to music. Nair said that Resso wants to turn music listening from a “passive to an active experience”. Resso wants people to open the app, look at vibes and interact with the platform. What’s unclear is why it wants to do so.

Music streaming services, especially in India, primarily earn from in-stream advertisements at the moment. Gaana, for example, places banner ads on the platform other than the voice ads playing between songs. In an interaction with Mint, Prashan Agarwal, Gaana CEO, said that less than a minute of ads are played on streaming services per hour of listening, which is a very small number.

Nair said it’ll be at least a year or two before Indian users start before paying for streaming services, and Resso has no plans to start putting ads on the platforms at least in the short run.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.