TikTok owner Bytedance will shutdown its music service Resso in India at the end of the month, it has been confirmed. The news follows the removal of the Resso app from the Google Play and Apple app stores within India last month at the order of the country's government.
Confirming the shutdown, a spokesperson for Bytedance said: “Unfortunately, owing to local market conditions, we can no longer continue to serve users of Resso in India. We have therefore taken the decision to shut down Resso and its associated operations on 31 Jan. Users will be offered a refund of their remaining subscription fees".
Resso previously operated in Indonesia and Brazil as well as India. However, in those other two markets it was replaced last year by TikTok Music, which - as the name suggests - is more closely integrated with Bytedance's flagship app.
But TikTok Music wasn't launched in India, presumably because the main TikTok app is banned there. The Indian government stopped the distribution of TikTok within the country back in 2020 citing concerns that the Chinese government had access to user data on the video sharing platform via China-based Bytedance.
The ban didn't initially affect Resso, but likely prevented Bytedance from replacing it with TikTok Music in India, given the new music app is more closely connected to and integrated with the main TikTok platform.
Before the launch of TikTok Music, Resso switched off its ad-funded free-tier. Once TikTok Music went live in Indonesia and Brazil that made sense, given that music platform free tiers are often loss-leader services used to upsell premium subscriptions. And TikTok Music can use TikTok for that purpose.
Back in India, however, the standalone Resso was faced with the task of signing up new users without having a free tier. Nevertheless, Bytedance seems to have initially been committed to continue operating the music service in India until its app was removed from the app stores last month. That move didn't stop existing Resso users from using the app, but did stop new subscribers from installing it.
Sources speaking to Moneycontrol confirmed that Bytedance has no plans to launch TikTok Music in India, presumably because if the government is now targeting Resso, it would almost certainly look to block a music service that actually shares the TikTok brand.