Staff working at the reception desk of Bytedance’s Shanghai headquarters. (Image credit: TechNode/Emma Lee)

TikTok owner Bytedance has released a music-streaming app in India and Indonesia, offering what the company calls a “social music streaming” service.

Why it matters: The move is the Chinese internet giant’s first push into the music-streaming sector, putting it in competition with Spotify and Apple Music.

  • The music newcomer, however, has ongoing copyright issues with the world’s biggest labels including Universal Music, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group over tracks used on TikTok.
  • Bytedance is focusing on high-growth markets outside of its home turf. Yinyuebang, a music app developed for China, appears to have made little progress and is not yet available for download on Apple’s China App Store.
  • India is the biggest market for Bytedance’s crown jewel, short video platform TikTok known as Douyin within China.

Details: The music app, named Resso, is now available on Apple’s App Store and for Android devices in India and Indonesia.

  • The app allows users to create playlists and post comments on the page of each track. Users can also share lyrics to social media.
  • The app has secured deals with Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, Merlin and Beggars Group, as well as Indian publishers such as T-Series, Saregama, Zee Music, YRF Music, according to TechCrunch.
  • The music service operates on a “freemium” model, providing free account options where users are limited to 128 kilobits per second (kbps) streaming quality with ads, while the ad-free premium accounts, which start at INR 99 (around $1.30) per month, provides 256 kbps quality and allows users to download tracks.

Context: The global music-streaming market is dominated by Spotify, which held 35% of the market, and Apple Music with 20% share in the first half of 2019, according to market research firm Counterpoint.

  • India’s music-streaming industry has a user base of 200 million as of February but the market is dominated by local player Gaana with 150 million monthly active users, according to The Next Web.
  • Indonesia, meanwhile, had only 0.2% of the world’s music market in 2018 with a $41.2 million market cap, but both Spotify and Tencent’s QQ Music already have presence in the country. The country is the world’s fourth most populated country and has an internet penetration rate of 64.8% and rising.

Wei Sheng

Wei Sheng is a Beijing-based reporter covering hardware, smartphone, and telecommunications, along with regulations and policies related to the China tech scene. Before joining TechNode, he wrote about...

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