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Rapper Lil Nas X, whose career got a lift from TikTok. Photo by AP

Can TikTok Owner ByteDance Challenge Spotify, Apple in Music Streaming?

Photo: Rapper Lil Nas X, whose career got a lift from TikTok. Photo by AP

ByteDance may have built the blockbuster TikTok—the first Chinese-owned app to really threaten Facebook and YouTube—but most of its other international forays in areas like news, work collaboration and social networking have flopped. The Chinese internet giant’s latest attempt to go global, with a music-streaming app designed for overseas markets, is showing some early signs of progress.

ByteDance’s Resso music-streaming service, which is only available in Brazil, India and Indonesia, now has more than 40 million monthly active users split more or less evenly among the three countries, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. By comparison, long-established industry leader Spotify, which is available in 178 countries, had 381 million monthly active users as of September, according to the company. There are signs that Resso's user count is likely to keep growing: Resso had 84.7 million downloads in the first 10 months of this year, up from 36.5 million in all of 2020, when the app officially launched, according to previously unreported data from research firm Sensor Tower.

ByteDance is considering launching Resso in more countries in Latin America and Southeast Asia as part of its strategy to focus on emerging markets, according to people familiar with the matter. It isn’t currently planning to launch Resso in the U.S., however.

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