ByteDance’s Resso takes on music streaming big boys Apple, Google and Spotify with an affable social experience


On the sidelines of the launch of ByteDance’s new social music streaming app, Resso, warpcore founder and chief editor Sahil Mohan Gupta interviewed Hari Nair, the head of music content and partnerships for the new platform. Resso which is seeing exponential growth right now in India has challenges riddled inherently with music streaming platforms. Nair explains how Resso will redefine music streaming.

So far you have already managed to acquire the rights of many labels, but universal music is missing. It’s one of the bigger ones, are you guys talking to them? 

At Resso, it is our constant endeavor to provide our users with the best in-app experience. We are a music streaming app and are consistently focused on increasing our library.

While the experience is wildly different from your peers, the one advantage that your peers have is the platform advantage. On the iPhone, Apple Music is preloaded and similarly, YouTube music is now preloaded on Android phones. How do you counter that? Experiential marketing, unique content?

Resso is a one-of-a-kind social music streaming app. It offers an experience that no other music streaming app brings to the table today. Apart from its vast library, Resso is in tune with the social needs of its users and empowers them to connect, express, engage through music and share the same on their social handles. Our unique and easy-to-use sociable product features like Vibes, Lyric Quotes and Comments, gives them the ability to instantly connect with the larger community.

Hence, given the wildly different experience, Resso provides, currently our sole focus is to prioritize enhancing our user experience and allow them to explore and experience the Resso app first-hand. All our marketing efforts are focused towards building a strong community of passionate music fans. The idea is to have a digital 1st approach where we identify the right set of audience groups and reach out to them.

Unlike video streaming apps music libraries are usually the same across all platforms, something Apple Music and Beats Music Jimmy Iovine also pointed out. 

To your second point, music libraries do largely remain the same, but it is the experience of listening to music that an app brings to its customers, that sets it apart. And that is exactly what Resso is doing. Starting with a unique social music experience to the way music is segmented, Resso makes music discovery and listening easier and more enjoyable. With Resso, we are taking music discovery deeper, the app’s library is divided by sub-genres as well as genres. This is done to address the tastes of today’s generation of music enthusiasts who are increasingly clear about their likes, dislikes and interests. Further, the app allows unlimited scroll in the explore page, allowing users to experience and discover new music and artists.

Is there a web-based interface in the works that one can use from within a Web browser? Are there any distribution deals in the pipeline with telecom operators or smartphone OEMs. For instance, right now the Samsung Galaxy S20 is launching with a 4-month subscription of YouTube Premium. Are there plans for deeper integrations with social networks like Snapchat, Instagram and your own TikTok?

As company policy, we do not comment on future plans however, we at Resso are constantly working towards providing our customers with a great experience. With this objective, we will be on the lookout for relevant partnerships and integrations that will make the Resso experience, unique and differentiated.

What kind of indie talent is a Resso looking to tap into? DJs, singer-songwriters, producers? Is the focus more on content in Hindi or even if there is local talent producing content in English, something like Prateek Kuhad? 

We are working with multiple artists across the country to provide a varied catalogue of content. All registered artists will have an overview page including their discography and other information about the artist. Artists can reinvent their catalog for fans by creating personalized vibes of old and new songs. Additionally, they can share it with their followers for a renewed experience.