India banned 59 Chinese-owned apps, including TikTok. But ByteDance-owned music streaming app Resso is alive and well.
The social music-streaming app Resso launched in India in March 2020 after several tests. Since then, the installs of the app have skyrocketed up to three million last month, according to data analytics firm SensorTower.
Earlier, the Indian government issued a ban on 59 Chinese apps, ensnaring the popular TikTok. Two of ByteDance’s other video platforms, including Vigo Video and Helo, were also caught in the ban. Now, the United States is signaling that it may ban TikTok in the US as well. The US Army, Navy, and Marines have already banned the app from government devices.
ByteDance estimates that the Indian ban on TikTok will cost it $6 billion in revenue this year alone. Already, the company has lost 200 million monthly active users after the India ban, a number that could rise if the United States follows suit. Right now, it’s unclear why Resso wasn’t included in India’s ban on Chinese-owned apps. It features many of the same social sharing features that made TikTok a viral hit.
Resso has achieved around 10.6 million first-time installs on smartphones globally. SensorTower estimates 74% of these have come from the Indian market. That means India is key to helping the music streaming platform grow. If India issues another wave of bans on Chinese apps among rising border tensions — Resso could be affected.
The Indian music streaming market is crowded with local and international companies fighting for users. Spotify, YouTube Music, and Apple Music compete with homegrown Indian music streaming services like JioSaavn and Gaana.
But India is a very tricky market to master. For starters, the Indian music streaming business is closely tied to Bollywood, with an estimated 80% of the country’s music revenue is driven by soundtracks for Bollywood films. Overall, India’s fast-growing population means it is expected to surpass China as the most populated country in 2027. More than 52% of India’s population is under 25 years old, which skews extremely young.
Meanwhile, the surge of connected Indians since 2015 has led to an explosion in the music streaming business. Digital revenues for platforms grew 210% from 2015 to 2018, and local streaming services Gaana and JioSaavn have exploded as a result.
Currently, the internet-using population of India is about solidly past half-a-billion. While that number dwarfs the United States, it is just 40% of the country’s total population. It perfectly captures why Apple Music and Spotify are eagerly engaging in price wars to capture market share from local services.