So long, Spotify

‘TikTok Music’ is set to take over the online streaming space, but there exists an app that has silently established itself in the Indian market.
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Today, music streaming platforms are not confined to songs alone – they are a medium to connect people. The Indian market is inundated with popular music apps like iTunes, Gaana, Spotify, and YT Music, but a shy new entrant has taken the market by storm. Resso – a sister app of the short-video streaming app of ByteDance – TikTok – is an Indian version of TikTok Music. Launched two years ago, Resso has silently established itself in the Indian market. 

On Apple and Google’s app stores, the developer name of Resso is ‘Moon Video Inc’, which seems to indicate that ByteDance is trying to keep the music service as a separate business. 

The app is available in India and could now pose a potential threat to competitors with all its  touched-on features. But what makes Resso different is that it has got a TikTok feel in the form of a music streaming app. 

A social streaming platform

Resso was launched in 2020 simultaneously in India, Brazil, and Indonesia by ByteDance, which owns TikTok. Right after its launch, Resso grew an astonishing 599% in August from a year ago in terms of monthly active users in India, as per a data from mobile analytics company Sensor Tower. 

It is evident that Resso is performing well in catering to the Indian audience, continuing to label ByteDance’s idea of binding the internet community. It has secured rights from multinational labels such as Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and T-Series, amongst others. 

An anonymous user calls Resso a ‘dangerously intelligent AI’ that takes risks to give new choices of music. “Resso is by far the most-intelligently produced streaming platform recommended by a friend. I am certainly impressed by the way it collects data and recommends songs that I like. It’s dangerous how AI is turning so accurate.”

Services Music and Podcast Music
Premium access for free1 Month14 Days
Interface for scrollingSwipe rightSwipe down
Live featureArtists cannot go liveArtist can go live and chat with users
Other featuresLike and share Like, share and comment

Can Spotify ignore the potential threat? 

With the help of AI and machine learning, users are now able to access highly personalized music, based on their tastes and personal interests. 

The Spotify recommender system is a complex system, with plenty of algorithms and ML models used across various levels, all working together to create one of the most advanced recommendation experiences in the music streaming market.

The goals and rewards of Spotify recommendation algorithms (February 2022)

They are mainly constituted by Music Recommender Systems (MRSs) that contain information filtering algorithms at their core, chosen from a huge catalogue of music items (e.g., artists, albums, or songs). Those identified as most relevant for a target user are catered accordingly, constituting a massive amount of music available at their fingertips.

(Explainability in Music Recommender Systems, January 2022) 

The flowchart represents information-oriented explanations that may be provided to an end-user for whom a personalized playlist has been generated.

In the past few years, automated recommendations systems have been a major focus in the music field, where players such as Spotify, Amazon, and Apple are competing to generate the most personalized music suggestions for their users. Based on a survey in 2019, with over 9,000 Gen Z and millennial respondents, Spotify claims that “71% of Spotify Free listeners are under 35”.

Resso is a step ahead, offering features with better song recommendations. One can use ‘vibes’, that allows you to create GiFs, or ‘lyric quotes’, that lets you share a particular part of the lyrics as a quote. The ‘swipe down’ mechanism to change the song contributes to the never-ending loop of infinite scrolling. Users may come across a ‘TikTok playlist’ on Spotify as well, overpowering its reach significantly in terms of content. 

Listeners can opt for background visuals while playing a song, feeling a pang of nostalgia, taken from the Windows Media Player or Winamp. Resso lacks a key feature of podcasts that are easily available on Spotify. But it does have a feature that stands out – access to downloadable content between free and paid plans. 

Number of Spotify premium subscribers worldwide from 1st quarter 2015 to 1st quarter of 2022 (Statista)

According to Statista, as of the first quarter of 2022, Spotify had 182 million premium subscribers worldwide, up from 158 million in the corresponding quarter of 2021. Spotify’s subscriber base has increased dramatically in the past few years and has more than doubled since early 2017. 

But will it continue to do so, while competition is mounting?

At present, Spotify does beat Resso with the number of users, but Resso looks poised to grow with its unique user interface and AI. And there’s only one way to find that out, which we shall know in time. 

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Bhuvana Kamath
I am fascinated by technology and AI’s implementation in today’s dynamic world. Being a technophile, I am keen on exploring the ever-evolving trends around applied science and innovation.

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