Spotify launches music streaming service in India

The Swedish company said it will offer local and international music to India's 1.3 billion potential listeners and that users can also upgrade to Spotify Premium for 119 rupees per month. (AFP File Photo)

Music streaming service Spotify Wednesday announced its foray into the Indian market, where it will compete head-on with players like JioSaavn, Amazon Music and Gaana.

The Swedish firm said it will offer local and international music for Indian listeners with the app available to download for free. Users can also upgrade to Spotify Premium for Rs 59 onwards per month.

Talking about the opportunity in the Indian market, Spotify India Managing Director Amarjit Singh Batra said a 2018 report by IMI and IFPI states that an average Indian internet user spends 21.5 hours listening to music per week.

"The same report also says that the income from subscription audio streams tripled from 2017, to Rs 220 crore; that number gives a sense of how Indians are starting to consume music digitally," he told PTI.

Batra said while the national number of people paying for music is small, statistics show that there is definitely a growing section of users who are seeing the value in subscriptions.

"...we believe the market is maturing and ready to transition from a price-conscious to a value-for-money mindset," he added.

Also, the rise of independent artists will enable India to become a global powerhouse of creators, most of whom are looking to break the scene not just locally, but globally, he said adding that it's the perfect time for Spotify to launch in India.

Spotify said it has redesigned the music experience for India with exclusive features like multi-language music recommendations and city playlists that list out trending music in various cities.

Users will get access to more than 40 million songs and 3 billion playlists across Indian and international music.

In January this year, Spotify had inked a global content deal with T-Series that gave it access to the latter’s entire Indian song catalogue including Bollywood and regional movie soundtracks, as well as a non-film albums and emerging artist content.

Spotify, which is available across 79 markets, has 207 million active users, of which 96 million are paying customers. The company claims to have paid 10 billion euros to rights holders since launch in October 2008.

During an investor call earlier this month, Spotify co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek had said given the level of user interest that it is seeing for the Spotify brand, "it makes us feel comfortable that we have a good chance of being a very, very strong player in the Indian market".

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Spotify launches music streaming service in India

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