We know all about TikTok’s growing clout for music discovery (or in the case of long-forgotten catalogue tracks, rediscovery). And we know that its parent company ByteDance has also been making waves in India and a handful of other countries with Resso, a music-streaming service with short-video DNA.
Now we also know that ByteDance is gearing up to tackle the twin titans of music-streaming in its homeland, China: Tencent Music and NetEase Cloud Music. It has launched a new app called Qishui Yinyue (rough translation: ‘Soda Music’) in China, which according to the South China Morning Post is similar to Resso.
The report notes that Qishui Yinyue currently has a catalogue of more than 10m music tracks, and synchronises with ByteDance’s Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok) so that people can access their music playlists across both apps. Synchronised lyrics and personalised recommendations are also part of the new music app, which is currently an invitation-only affair.
Can even ByteDance take a bite (or a byte?) out of Tencent Music [TME] and NetEase Cloud Music’s dominance in China? TME ended 2021 with 615 million monthly active users across its three streaming services: QQ Music, Kugou and Kuwo. Within that community, it had 76.2 million users paying in some way: subscriptions and/or buying digital albums.
As for NetEase Cloud Music, it ended 2021 with 182.6 million monthly active users, with 28.9 million of them paying on a monthly basis. Those are two powerful companies in China’s music streaming economy, but if anyone can make inroads and become a third major player, it’s ByteDance.
However, like those rivals, it will need to navigate a landscape where the Chinese government is cracking down on big digital platform owners in a variety of ways.