Spotify, which is the world’s largest digital music streaming service, launched in India on Wednesday, over a decade after it began operations all the way back in 2008. The company will compete with established players like Amazon Music, which was launched in the country last year, Apple Music, Google Play Music, Gaana, and Jio Saavn for a share in the growing digital music market in India.
The app, which can be used on smartphones, desktops and tablets, is now available to Indian users for free download and the company is offering a premium service upgrade priced at ₹119 per month. A free 30-day trial of the paid service is also available to users.
Commenting on the launch, Daniel Ek, founder and CEO of Spotify said in a statement, "India has an incredibly rich music culture and to best serve this market, we’re launching a custom-built experience. Not only will Spotify bring Indian artists to the world, we’ll also bring the world’s music to fans across India.”
Spotify also said Indian users will now have access to over 40 million songs and 3 billion playlists comprising international and Indian music across various genres, customised recommendations and playlists based on the user’s listening preferences and patterns, a home page that is updated daily with the latest releases and options to integrate the service with car systems, Google Maps, Tinder and Instagram.
Focusing on Indian users, the company said it has tweaked its music recommendation engine to offer suggestions in Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu and has introduced specially curated playlists including hits from Bollywood, Tollywood, Kollywood and Punjabi films. Spotify also said new algorithmic playlists tracking the trending songs in top Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai will be made available.
“Through our unmatched personalised experience, we want users to find the best music from India and the world, and empower Indian artists to find new audiences in India and worldwide,” Amarjit Singh Batra, managing director, Spotify India, said in the statement.
Spotify said smartphone giant One Plus, drinks and beverage company Anheuser-Busch InBev and travel company GoUSA are its exclusive advertising launch partners in India.
The company currently has 207 million active users out of which 96 million are paying users. Spotify will be looking to capture India’s large market but will have to innovate to convert free users to paying customers, especially given that Indian consumers are always looking for value purchases.