Music streaming, as currently composed, is consolidated into a few firms with a limited number of ways of achieving “success” at a certain level of scale. This ends up discouraging the creation of new business models, as there’s already an established path. That’s what’s so frustrating about reading early reports on Resso. Music Ally’s early impressions
of the app made it clear not to expect anything new. There was no sign of deeper social features beyond track commenting, ways to interact with artists (ala Twitch), or anything that wasn’t already building upon features that Gaana and Spotify currently offer, like shareable lyrics and song cards. Now, if there isn’t really anything groundbreaking about the app, then how exactly will Resso break into an already-saturated market full of music apps that offer the same feature sets and catalogs? Well, let’s dig into that question a bit further.
Resso is launching in India in order to leverage TikTok’s already monstrous footprint
(120 million monthly active users
) to jump-start the app. Back in 2018, I wrote about my skepticism around Spotify
entering the Indian market, which I still hold given that it’s suddenly a rather cheap family plan
. I hold a similar, though not quite as extreme, skepticism towards Resso. TikTok isn’t as dominant in music as YouTube or Gaan (which reportedly has 125 million MAU
) nor does it have the telco backing of JioSaavn. The higher price point is also a reason to question its market potential. India isn’t at peak streaming the way other markets are, but Resso will be heavily relying on that TikTok leverage for it to connect to Indian audiences.
Europe / United States
There are currently no rumors around Resso entering Europe but there is little reason to expect the app to make a real ripple in these countries. Spotify continues to see steady growth across the continent, even if there is stagnation in matured Nordic markets that’s led to price increase tests
. Similar conditions are arising in the United States, with Spotify seeing even slower growth here over the last two years due to some degree of competition with Apple Music.
2015 was the last year that a new major streaming platform arrived in the United States and since then, most companies have simply pulled features from each other’s products. The market has actually decreased, not increased, in varied products over the last decade. There certainly could be an opening for a different kind of music streaming platform but, so far, Resso doesn’t appear to be that. While TikTok’s sudden rise is impressive, I’d like to say it’s certainly boosted by a news press desperate for a new app to cover and a Vine-sized gap for short-form video content, especially as YouTube leans on longer-form content. That same void doesn’t exist within nearly-identical music streaming platforms.
Latin / South America
Spotify and YouTube found massive success in Latin and South America, so what about Resso? I doubt it. An entirely under-reported reason for Spotify’s success in Latin / South America
is the company’s aggressive partnership with telcos
to make it the music streaming platform for early smartphone users
. This is a once-in-a-generation wave that the company rode very well. The shift from digital music consumption needing a desktop to it just requiring a phone created a large shift in the platforms people interacted with, but Resso isn’t going to benefit from that stroke of historical luck. We’ve yet to see a real second generation of music streaming platforms built on the shoulders of Spotify and YouTube but Resso, at least for now, doesn’t appear to be built to lead the next generation of streaming platforms, since arriving post-smart phone adoption across most major global markets is going to be hard to overcome.