Spotify has been active in India since the end of February 2019. It is little late here, as several other music companies have already secured their place in Indian market. No need to say, the company has to go through a tough battleship in India.
The Reason behind Its Late Entry in Indian Market
India has a rather vast music industry in comparison to other countries. There are loads of regional music, Bollywood music, and independent artists. One of the major reasons that Spotify took time to enter in India is it had to deal with various labels that control the music industry. Right now, it is associated with T-series that will provide a catalog of 160,000 songs. It is mainly focusing on songs in Hindi, English, and other regional languages.
The real battle is waiting for Spotify in India
- As so many players are already in the ring, Spotify has to face a warm competitive environment in Indian music market. On one hand, it has to deal with the immense popularity of major global players such as Apple Music, Google Music, and Amazon music. On the other hand, domestic players such as Gaana, Airtel Wynk, and JioSaavn have already captured a major part of the population.
- The next big issue is to go high with the paid subscription. Indians users are disproportionately inclined towards using free service rather than paid. Also, there are so many music services which are offering a lower rate than Spotify. So, even when they reach mass customer base, it would be a big challenge to convince them for a paid subscription.
Special about the Music Service
- It will be using Artificial Intelligence to create special playlists called “City Playlists” based on the song preferences of people of cities-Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, and Chennai.
- Based on the user’s unique preferences, it will recommend multi-music list.
- Now, it is available as apps for mobile devices (Android and iOS platforms) and also accessible via the web browser for Windows 10 PCs, Android TV, macOS computing devices, Microsoft Xbox, and Sony PlayStation. It works with Android in-car infotainment platform and Apple CarPlay as well.
- It’s premium subscription allows users to play songs on connected devices (such as Televisions and speakers) and also supports offline playback.
The absence of Warner Music
Warner Music Is Yet To Finalize, which means users will get a very limited number of artist’s songs such as Linkin Park, Ed Sheeran, Led Zeppelin, Tranter, Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Madonna, Twenty One Pilot, and many more. Even with a premium subscription, users have to compromise with Warner’s music.
Spotify India Pricing
Premium service is available at 119 INR per month and 1189 INR for one year. Users can enjoy one month for free after signup. If users are not willing to pay further, they can cancel the subscription or continue with the ad-supported version for free.
Even without a premium subscription, one can access the entire library. However, with premium service users:
- Can enjoy ad-free music
- Will be able to enjoy music with no phone service
- Can avail the high-quality audio experience. The app can stream 320kbps audio
- Can unlock the feature to skipping a track.
- Will have the option of Offline downloading
- Can access playlist any time
- Can connect and control music across multiple devices. It means users will be able to control music playing on their laptop through smartphones and pair the app with other hardware such as speakers or a console.
One Time Subscription Facility May Captivate Users
If users are not interested in a monthly or yearly subscription, they can even enjoy top-up services which are available for 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3month, and 6 months.
Spotify in India has a special offer for students as well. Those who are enrolled in a college can get up to 50% off on the monthly subscription package. They only have to upload related documents as proof.
Limited Payment Options
It accepts only credit and debit cards (Visa or MasterCard) for the monthly subscription. But users may use Paytm and UPI options as well for other plans including annual subscription and one-time packs.
How expensive it is in comparison to others?
Amazon Music which is a part of Amazon Prime is the most expensive at monthly subscription however it will be rather cheaper on an annual subscription. Gaana offers the cheapest annual subscription rate. Also, Google Play Music doesn’t have an annual subscription package.
|S.no||Music Service||Subscription Pack||Charges (INR)|
|1||Amazon Prime||Monthly||129 (Most Expensive)|
|Family Plan (one Month)||190|
|For Student (One Month)||60|
|3||Google Play Music||Monthly||99|
What users will actually get?
Users, who are already using Apple Music or Google Music, may not be convinced to use this app. Though it has great playlist curation and suggestion features based on one’s taste, it lacks the availability of international music. Users can also get to discover new artists meeting their tastes along with an amazing audio experience.
Severe Competition for Number of Subscribers
As per Deloitte and other Indian Music Industry bodies, there are 150 million subscribers for music streaming services. Out of these, less than 1% of the subscribers pay for the music while 14% belong to those who are using services embedded in their mobile plan or subscribed for Amazon Prime. Also, Gaana alone covered 80 million users per month until December 2018.
Journey Of Spotify Till It Reached India
Spotify is a music streaming platform introduced by Spotify AB, a Sweden-based company, in October 2008. It has the largest global subscriber base. Users can listen to DRM-protected music along with podcasts from media companies & record labels. It is available in Europe, America, New Zealand, and Australia including several parts of Africa and Asia as well. Users can enjoy more than 40 million tracks on most modern devices including iOS, Android, and Windows mobiles, and also can enjoy web services on Windows, macOS, and Linux platforms. Till February 2019, it has affirmed that its total number of users including paid and free has already reached 207 million across 78 countries.
Spotify is also entrenching its existence to 13 more markets in North Africa and Middle East including Qatar, UAE, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Palestinian territories, and more. For its newcomers, it will be introducing the “Arab hub” collection.
It’s Expectation from Indian Market
As per Denial Ek, CEO of the company, he is expecting Spotify as a strong player in India, though the nation’s prime focus is to support and promote tech companies. He made a statement to the query of an analyst stating that they are seeing the Indian market as a healthy ecosystem where not only homegrown players are successful but even some international players are also making their presence strong when it comes to other sectors. It means that they have a good chance to grow here.
How Indian Launch is going?
The company commits that it has recorded 1 million users in its first week in India well it is still in denial to reveal the exact split.
There is no doubt that India can be a major marketplace for global music streaming and help in revamping the global music culture. Spotify can also use the Indian Music Industry to the fullest. It only has to build a strong engagement strategy to unlock the potential growth. With the current Indian mindset, it would be hard to get good revenue growth along with subscriber growth.
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