Swedish music streaming giant Spotify, after a long wait, finally launched in India a week ago. And, in just a week, the world’s most popular paid music streaming service has racked up more than 1 million unique users in India across its free and premium tiers, according to a report by Music Business Worldwide.
India’s market is dominated by local services like Gaana (which in August said it passed 75 million users and in February secured $115 million in funding from China’s behemoth Tencent and Times Internet), Saavn, and Hungama. Well-funded American services like Google Play, Apple Music and Amazon are also present in India. Crossing a million unique users is therefore an important landmark for Spotify as it attempts to corner at least part of the market in India.
Spotify’s pricing in India is far below than what the company is charging consumers elsewhere. The premium service will be free for 30 days and then will be Rs 119 per month. Spotify is also offering a variety of other billing plans, including single-day access, as well as pre-paid plans for 3 months (Rs 389), 6 month (Rs 719) a whole year (Rs 1,189). Students receive a 50% discount.
Spotify was launched in India amid a continued battle with Warner Music over licensing fees. Spotify secured direct licensing agreements with Sony Music and Universal, but couldn’t come to an agreement with Warner. Currently, the music service is relying on statutory licensing for the use of music from Warner’s catalog. This is why you will get a very limited number of songs from artists such as Pharrell Williams, Linkin Park, Steve Aoki, Led Zeppelin, Beyonce, Lukas Graham, Madonna, George Michael, Katy Perry, Radiohead, Rihanna, Slash, Chris Stapleton, Rod Temperton, Justin Tranter and Twenty One Pilots, to name a few.
Spotify has 207 million monthly active users globally and 96 million subscribers. In India, the streaming service is competing with players like Amazon’s Prime Music, Alphabet’s Google Play Music, and Xiaomi-backed Hungama.