The startup behind TikTok trials new music app, taking aim at Spotify and Apple Music

The startup behind TikTok trials new music app, taking aim at Spotify and Apple Music

A new music streaming app from the company behind TikTok could soon challenge the dominance of Apple Music and Spotify, according to The Independent.

TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has been trialing the app in Indonesia and India, nations with some of the world’s largest populations, where users are already familiar with the company’s video-sharing platform TikTok.

Called Resso, the app offers features that could help it one-up Spotify, including elements inspired by social networking platforms. Resso allows users to comment on songs and create gifs and videos from each track, as TikTok allows with videos. It takes inspiration from other apps with swiping controls to change tracks, and displays lyrics in real-time as a song plays. 

Shares of Spotify immediately dropped when it was first revealed last month that ByteDance has been developing a music streaming service. In a trial over the last six months in India and Indonesia, around 27,000 users have installed Resso. For now, the company is charging 119 rupees or $1.70 in India, matching Spotify’s price there. 

According to Michael Norris, research and strategy manager for the consultancy AgencyChina:

“The dilemma for all three companies [Apple Music, Spotify, and Resso) is how to monetize a price-sensitive user base with low relative incomes. At the moment, it’s a race for active users in the developing world. Commercial realities will be put aside, at least for now.”

The Beijing based ByteDance is the world’s most valuable startup at $75 billion, with over 500 million users installing TikTok since it was launched in China in 2016. Observers say TikTok represents a serious threat to the dominance of US social media companies like Facebook, and has faced scrutiny due to its roots in China. US legislators are investigating China’s state censorship of the platform, and the US army is investigating its handling of user data. 

Meanwhile, US users of TIkTok have reached 11.6 million, an increase of 38 percent from the year before.

For now, Resso is focusing on markets where other music subscription services have yet to gain as much traction. They’re expected to launch in emerging markets such as Brazil before eventually expanding to the US and Europe. 

“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,” a spokesperson told Bloomberg. 

ByteDance also recently launched the Smartisan Jianguo Pro 3, a smartphone with features that work seamlessly with the TikTok app. 

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay