Spotify silently launches in India with premium membership options starting at ₹13
- Spotify silently launched in India on Tuesday evening.
- The app's 'install' button is live on the Google Play Store.
- Premium membership options are only available to existing customers with one-time payment options starting at ₹13.
Right after reports of Warner Music Group filing an injunction against Spotify in India, the app silently launched on the in Google’s Play Store. The ‘install’ button has finally gone live after months of postponed launch announcements.
And, it looks like Spotify's decided to go ahead without a licensing deal with Warner since songs from their library are no where to be seen on the music streaming platform.
"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’s music family just got a whole lot bigger."
During the Spotify's initial launch, the premium membership was also only available to existing users of the service and only to those on Android. But now, both Windows users and Android users, old and new, can sign up for Spotify's premium subscriptions.
Spotify's done its part in trying to customise its usage for India with 8-different language preferences to choose from once users have signed up. Users can also customise their artist preferences which Spotify then users to curate a custom playlist.
That being said, JioSaavn and Gaana have 16 languages to choose from.
New users can sign up for a 30-day free trial of Spotify's premium plan. Existing users have the option to sign up for premium plans that start at ₹119 per month or they can choose to pay ₹1189 in lump-sum for a full-year membership.
There’s a special offer for students as well where they can avail a discount of 50% on the monthly membership rate.
If users are uncertain about doling a large payment, Spotify also has one-time payments options that you can use to top-up your account as per your requirement starting at ₹13 for 1 day to ₹719 for 6 months.
Internationally, Spotify also has something called the 'Family Plan' where multiple users can be on the same subscription but they haven't launched that option in India and the company has no updates on its launch either.
Premium is not for everyone
Regardless of whether you're willing to shell out money for a subscription, you can still use the free version of the app that lets you listen to whatever music is available. The premium membership has the added benefit of being ad-free and allowing users to listen to music when they’re offline as well — a boon for users that have limited data options or connectivity.
While the number of times you can skip a song are limited in the free version of Spotify, the premium version allows for unlimited skips and playing any track without restrictions.
The most significant feature of the premium membership, especially for audiophiles, is probably the availability of higher quality audio. The free version of the app only streams at 96kbps, which is a small but noteworthy drop in quality in comparison to a CD. The premium version, on the other hand, streams music at 320kbps which is as good as the quality on a CD.
On most apps, including Spotify's competitors in the Indian market, high quality audio is only available on a paid subscription plan.
Spotify's launch is welcome news of its existing fans but the real challenge for the music streaming lies ahead as it tries to go head-to-head with JioSaavn and Gaana — the top two most popular music streaming services in India with the most market share.
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