Music streaming app Resso has gained more than one million users in India over the last two months, even as two other ByteDance-owned apps — TikTok and Helo – have been banned on security concerns.
Music labels said it could be because of a lack of awareness about Resso’s Chinese ownership and the likelihood that ByteDance has been quietly marketing the app through digital platforms.
According to data provided to ET by mobile analytics company Sensor Tower, Resso gained more users in India between July and August than Amazon Prime Music — one of the top five players in the music streaming business in India.
Resso generated an estimated 1.4 million downloads on Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store in India in July, while Amazon Prime Music gained 1.2 million. In August, Resso picked up 1.5 million against Amazon Prime Music’s 800,000 users.
Market leaders — Gaana and JioSaavn — were downloaded an estimated 11.5 million and 9.5 million times, respectively, across App Store and Google Play. Spotify registered 4.4 million downloads during these two months, while YouTube Music clocked 4.3 million in the same period in the country.
Gaana is owned by Times Internet Ltd (TIL), part of the Times of India group that also publishes this paper.
In all, Resso has generated 9.9 million downloads from India, amounting to 64% of all its user installs. The app is also available in Indonesia and Brazil.
In July, ET reported that Resso was part of a list of 275 apps that the government had drawn up for scrutiny for suspected violation of national security and user privacy.
Even though the music-streaming app may be gaining in user installs, it is not part of the media spending or exclusive promotional plans of most music labels.
“These are formative days for Resso in the crowded Indian streaming marketplace and, hence, the service will have to significantly up the ante, ramp up its relevance and its USP for Indian consumers, so that the music labels consider utilising it as a major marketing tool,” said Mandar Thakur, COO of Times Music, a Times Group entity.
“At this stage, the free-consumer tier on the other leading 2-3 streaming services seems to be significantly higher,” he added.
Relatively smaller music labels do not have the option of discounting any platform to promote their songs though, said Anup Kumar, CEO of Mohali-based music label Acme Muzic, which predominantly releases Punjabi songs.
“We just released two Punjabi songs in the last week and promoted both on Resso along with all other platforms. For us, the window to market a newly released song is very narrow, so whatever gives us traction is important,” he added.
Resso’s app allows users to upload a short video clip, called “vibe”, to go with each song they play.
User can either choose to keep the vibe private or make it public. The latter option allows other users to see that clip when they play the same song.
“It helps create a visual memory for the listener, making this a strong moat and the sharing aspect lends a social angle to music streaming. Resso has the opportunity to enhance the social aspect by allowing users to rate these vibes in future,” said Himanshu Khanna, founder of New Delhi-based design and tech company Sparklin.
Vibe adds a visualisation element to music-listening which is reminiscent of the days of visualisations in computer applications like Winamp and Windows Media Player about two decades ago, Khanna said.
“It looks like ByteDance has consciously not marketed the app yet given the current scenario. But once more people discover this visual aspect of Resso, they are likely to latch on to it,” he added.
(Additional reporting by Vikas SN)