ByteDance-owned streaming service Resso has removed music from commercially successful Sony Music Entertainment (SME) bands including Harry Styles and Doja Cat.
All sorts of disappointed fans took to social media to talk about the takedowns around the start of September, but the song deletions have recently entered the media spotlight. Additionally, Resso is only available in Brazil, Indonesia, and India, which are home to a combined total of 1.9 billion people.
Apart from irritated listeners (mainly Portuguese language) Twitter’s complaints about the development, acts signed by Sony Music were conspicuously absent from the list of US and UK artists featured by Resso Brazil at the time of this writing. Universal Music’s Billie Eilish ranks high on the US list, for example, while no tracks are listed on the Resso album page for Monterothat Sony Music’s Lil Nas X released.
Likewise, Sony Music’s perennial bestseller Harry Styles is nowhere to be found on the UK featured artists page or the wider Resso platform. While Epic’s Camila Cabello is still on Resso’s Top American Artists list, her profile only includes non-album collaborations.
Again, as of this writing, neither Sony Music nor TikTok owner ByteDance appears to have shed light on the cause of the deletions or even publicly comment on the matter. a translation of the Portuguese message on the Resso profiles of the affected artists reads: “We apologize, we resolve this copyright.”
However, the pulldowns come as ByteDance and Sony Music indirectly compete for streaming users in China’s rapidly growing music market. Beijing-headquartered ByteDance rolled out a Chinese platform called Qishui Yinyue in April, and evidence suggests the highly controversial company may also be preparing to introduce competitor Spotify in the United States.
(TikTok has taken several steps to expand its music presence in 2022, including launching a distribution service and a pre-release option through which artists can first make their new projects available on the abbreviated app.)
However, going back to the booming Chinese music sphere, Sony Music invested $100 million in NetEase’s answer to Tencent Music in 2021. 2022.
In the coming months, it will be worth watching the apparent standoff between Resso and Sony Music, which in late August filed a multimillion-dollar infringement suit against TikTok rival Triller.
Moreover, this is not Resso’s first licensing battle, for the platform launched in India (where TikTok remains banned) without the Universal Music Group catalog. Finally, when it comes to multifaceted rights disputes, UMG itself had a licensing tussle with Triller last year.
And despite Sony Music’s reported infringement action against Triller — which allegedly failed to pay millions in royalties owed — it doesn’t appear that Universal Music has filed its own action for missing payments.