The parent company of social media platform TikTok has launched a brand it hopes will challenge Spotify in the online music streaming market.
ByteDance, the Beijing-based startup whose success with TikTok, a video app has helped value it at $75 billion, has been secretly testing Resso, a streaming brand, in India and Indonesia for the past six months. It has already received over 27,000 downloads, as ByteDance has gone on a hiring spree to prep for an assault on its market-dominant Swedish rival.
Resso is similar to Spotify, but will include additional social features that allow users to comment on songs, and download gifs and other content. ByteDance has also been in talks with large music labels such as Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music Group (WMG), as legacy music brands aim to capitalize on TikTok’s 500 million user base.
ByteDance has been aggressively courting label talent in the past few months, too. In June WMG executive Ole Obermann was hired by TikTok to leads its global music team. Today ByteDance revealed it has snapped up another WMG leader—Tracy Gardner—to helm its label licensing arm. Gardner was previously senior vice president, global business development and strategy at WMG.
“I am delighted to welcome her to our team and we look forward to her leadership as we continue to build strong relationships with our label partners,” Obermann said of Gardner in a statement.
Despite concerns about censorship, TikTok has risen to become one of the world’s most used social media platforms. As recently as November, ByteDance pondered an IPO in Hong Kong. But in recent weeks gossip has cooled around the 2012-founded firm, which may now wait until late next year to go public.