World’s leading music streaming service Spotify launched in India. After many delays, Spotify finally stepping into a price-sensitive market like India to compete against local players like JioSaavn and Apple Music.
Based in Sweden, Spotify will offer a free version of the streaming app that will run with ads, alongside a premium ad-free version that will charge users 119 Indian rupees ($1.67) per month. However, the same plans in the United States start at $9.99, $11.37 in France and $13.30 in the United Kingdom. Indian users can also opt for Spotify Premium for a day for 18 cents.
With more than 400 million smartphone users, the market is potentially huge.
Spotify India’s Managing Director Amarjit Singh Batra said there are interesting local challenges in India that the company views as “business opportunities”.
“The first is to convert users who consume pirated music; they can access music through our free tier which also gives artists the opportunity to earn from their work,” Batra said in an emailed statement.
He also pointed to the rising number of independent artists in the country, and said Spotify could provide a platform to bring fans and artists together in-app and offline.
Home-grown rivals such as JioSaavn, owned by Reliance Industries; Wynk Music, owned by Bharti Airtel; and Gaana, funded by Tencent Holdings are already well-established in India and offers low prices.
Spotify will have to work hard to win market share in the country, whose population of 1.3 billion ranks around 120th globally in terms of annual income.
According to media reports, Gaana leads the Indian streaming market with over 80 million monthly users. Spotify has 207 million monthly active users globally and 96 million subscribers.
In January, Spotify had announced a partnership with India’s largest music label T-Series, giving it access to a catalog of over 160,000 songs.