Spotify in India

Spotify is an audio streaming platform launched in October 2008. It provides DRM- protected (DRM is Digital Rights Management) music and podcasts from record labels and media companies. As a freemium service, basic features are free with advertisements or automatic music videos, while additional features, such as improved streaming quality, are offered via paid subscriptions. Spotify provides access to more than 40 million tracks. Users can browse by parameters such as artist, album, or genre, and can create, edit, and share playlists.

Spotify arrived in India merely a week back and has already got 1 million users including both free and paid Premium accounts, as a representative for the company confirmed. We can’t compare this to other countries as Spotify has not announced early figures of its launch anywhere before but let’s see if this is a large number or otherwise.

India’s total population is 1.34 billion, but only about 150 million or 11 percent subscribe to a music streaming service, as per a report by Deloitte and Indian music-industry body IMI published earlier this year. Of this 150 million, less than one per cent of subscribers pay for a subscription and about 14 per cent have a packaged subscription like Amazon Prime, or through a mobile contract. The remaining 85 per cent of the population stream music with free subscriptions. Whereas 1 million is a large number, Spotify is reaching less than one percent of the Indian music streaming population, and it has probably signed up few paid subscribers.

The minority that does pay for music services in India don’t pay much. For example, an Apple Music subscription in India will cost around 120 rupees, or $1.69, when compared to $9.99 per month in the United States. The existing gap between music streaming and value in India is so huge that companies should expect to continue to rely on ads and telecom subsidies as primary sources of revenue.

How Spotify grows in India past the launch frenzy will be telling. Its entry, in general, is late to the game, and it faces rigid competition from the likes of Apple Music, Amazon, and Google Play, alongside local services like JioSaavan and Gaana, which dominates with about 80 million users, which is about half of India’s active music streaming market.

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