Resso is making its debut in India as the world’s first social music streaming platform. The service, from TikTok parent ByteDance, is taking on JioSaavn, Gaana, Spotify and Apple Music in India. The service is an India-first music streaming platform. Guess what? It has a lot of tricks up its sleeve to take on the biggest players in the market. Also Read - Resso is TikTok-parent ByteDance's answer to music streaming service like Gaana, JioSaavn and Spotify in India
What is Resso?
Resso is not new and it appeared in the form of beta on Google Play Store and Apple App Store in late November last year. The app, which has an icon that mixes play button with the alphabet “R”, is aimed at Gen Z users. Hari Nair, Head of Music Content and Partnership, Resso India, said that the app wants to be the go to music service for these users. There are close to 500 million Gen Z users in the country, and Resso wants to resonate with these users like the way music resonates with listeners. Also Read - After smartphone, TikTok parent ByteDance plans to launch music streaming service
According to Nielsen Music/MRC Data 2019 Report, the on-demand streams hit 5.13 trillion globally in 2019. The audio streams reached 1.72 trillion streams last year. This is a big transition from the days of vinyl, CDs and downloads for listening to music. With data available at a cheap price, streaming is becoming new normal for listening to music. Resso thinks it has the opportunity to not only compete but stand out in the crowded music streaming market. Also Read - JioSaavn and Gaana+ annual subscription discounted by over 70 percent, now costs just Rs 299
How does Resso work?
Resso works like any other music streaming service available in the market. Once you install the app, it offers an option to sign up with either Google or Facebook. Once signed in, you get the option to select artists and genres based on your liking. This sign up process is similar to other platforms and the main interface always opens to “Your Daily Mix”. On this screen, users can scroll vertically to jump to the next track. In fact, this vertical scroll works similar to TikTok.
This interface has a clear edge over rival platforms in this crowded market. Since the app is coming from ByteDance, the interface is almost identical to the one you see on TikTok. When listening to music, you get the option to like, comment or share the song. You also get the option to choose the animation or cover shown for the song playing on the app. Resso calls it Vibes, and every song gets at least three different vibes. These vibes are mostly animations, which are essentially a fusion of various images. This is similar to video loops that appear as artwork on Spotify, but less dramatic.
You might be wondering where is the social connect part. Well, that comes in the form of an option to like and comment. You can like music that plays on the app and this goes back into the recommendation engine. The more songs you like, your song recommendation will get better. The comment section is where Resso has put some real thought. On Spotify, you will like an artist and share the same with your friends. You can also directly comment on the song and get replies from other people as well. This works similar to comments on Facebook, Instagram or any other social media platform.
In order to push engagement, Resso also offers deeper segmentation for genres. While most platforms are restricted to genres and sub-genres, Nair says Resso does sub-genre of a sub-genre. There are also features like lyrics quote, where users can grab pictures with lyrics in the form of a quote and share it on other platforms. There is also an option to edit these lyrics quotes while sharing on platforms like Instagram, Facebook or WhatsApp. Honestly, I won’t be surprised if suddenly Instagram Stories and Snapchats are filled with these lyrics quotes from Resso.
How much does Resso cost?
Resso, like other music streaming platforms, adopts a freemium model. It will be available as a free streaming service to those who sign up. However, these freemium users will have to listen to ads. In order to get rid of ads, Resso offers premium tier as well. It costs Rs 99 per month on Android and Rs 119 on Apple’s iOS. This premium tier will offer options for conditional download, unlimited skips and high-quality audio. The app will only be available on Android and iOS and the company says it plans to introduce a web interface later.
I tried Resso for the first time in December last year. At that time, Resso seemed more like a hack by a creative app developer. Now, the app is full-fledged and offers plethora of options. The app now offers a proper explore tab and the “Me” section lets users go through their library with ease. The app still does not have a lot of options for payments either. On Android, you will be able to pay using Google Pay or Paytm. Since Apple Pay is not available in India, Resso will let users pay using Paytm on Apple iOS.
During the briefing, Nair confirmed that the app will include music from all the major labels. It has also announced partnership with T-Series, Zee Music, Saregama, YRF Music, Times Music and others. Apple Music claims to have 60 million songs in its library. Resso is not offering any number, but Nair said that Gen Z won’t miss any of their favorite songs. Spotify has been available in India for more than a year, but its library still lacks some popular songs. Resso will immediately resonate with TikTok users and its content library could make them ditch other platforms eventually.