ByteDance pinned its hopes of creating a rival to Spotify or Apple Music with Resso, beginning in emerging markets. Now it’s cutting access to its free tier on May 11.
The music streaming service launched in India, Brazil, and Indonesia as a way to get a foot in the door. But low conversion rates from the free tier to the premium tier may be the final nail in the coffin for the free service. Resso will shut down its free access tier starting May 11, becoming a Premium-only service.
“Resso will upgrade to a Premium only service from May 11, 2023 to elevate your social music streaming experience,” the notification to current customers reads. When clicking ‘read more’ the site explains the move is to “provide all music lovers with the best possible music experience.” Translated? The Big Three music labels don’t want to play ball with popular music when the conversion rates are so low. A Bloomberg report cites numbers in the low single percentages. Spotify’s free-to-premium conversion pipeline hovers around 45%, globally.
Existing Resso members will get 30 days of the new ad-free premium experience before they’re asked to pay. “Resso’s move to a premium-only service will allow the development of a better user experience for music fans, while inceasing opportunities for rightsholders and artists,” adds ByteDance’s Global Head of Music, Ole Obermann.
The move comes just eight months after another music streaming service in India called Gaana decided to remove its free tier. The removal of Gaana’s free tier came after the music streaming service failed to attract new investment or a potential buyer. A Reuters report at the time suggested that deals with its music partners had fallen through.
A Resso subscription in Brazil will cost R$16.90 (US $3.35) per month, which is about R$3 cheaper than Spotify. Meanwhile, in India, Resso Premium costs 119 rupees (US$1.45) per month.