ByteDance Is Shutting Down Resso in India Amid Regulatory Scrutiny — No Plans to Replace With TikTok Music

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Mumbai, India. Photo Credit: Hardik Joshi

TikTok parent ByteDance is shutting down its Resso streaming service in India and doesn’t plan to bring TikTok Music to the nation of about 1.4 billion.

Word of Resso’s India shutdown just recently entered the media spotlight in a report from Mumbai-based Moneycontrol. Designed to compete with Spotify, Apple Music, and others in emerging markets, Resso last May abruptly axed its free tier.

Moreover, it bears highlighting at the outset that the Indian government outlawed TikTok proper (along with a number of other China-linked apps) back in the summer of 2020, citing national security concerns.

According to the mentioned outlet, December of 2023 then saw the Indian government target Resso itself with a regulatory order, resulting in the app’s removal from the App Store as well as the Play Store in the country.

Thus, while the service reportedly remains operational in India, it’s unavailable to new mobile users and, once again per Moneycontrol, won’t allow existing customers to extend their subscriptions.

Now, Resso – which is said to have boasted a quarter of a billion installs in India – is poised to cease operating in the country altogether at January’s end.

And unlike in Brazil and Indonesia, which boast expanding and streaming-driven music markets, ByteDance isn’t teeing up TikTok Music as a replacement, Moneycontrol relayed.

“Unfortunately, owing to local market conditions, we can no longer continue to serve users of Resso in India,” a ByteDance spokesperson confirmed of the withdrawal. “We have therefore decided to shut down Resso and its associated operations on January 31. Users will be offered a refund of their remaining subscription fees.”

Time will, of course, reveal the precise market impact of Resso’s exit from India. But the above-mentioned install milestone and other figures indicate that the move could create a potentially sizable opportunity in the country’s streaming landscape.

As calculated in a December of 2023 analysis from Ernst & Young, India’s evolving music space generated approximately $312 million in recorded revenue and $100 million in publishing revenue during 2022.

Meanwhile, per a new report for 2023, India-based listeners generated 1.04 trillion on-demand video and audio song streams last year – second only to the U.S. (1.45 trillion) and more than the combined total attributable to third-ranked Brazil (373.5 billion), fourth-positioned Mexico (366.5 billion), and fifth-placed Indonesia (235.5 billion).

Equally as important, the same data suggests that India may well overtake the U.S. in on-demand streaming volume next year. The former country is said to have added 463.7 billion net new streams during 2023 – or above the cumulative total behind the U.S. (184 billion), Indonesia (93.1 billion), Brazil (91.2 billion), and Mexico (85.8 billion) alike.