Spotify plans to launch in India in the next 6 months — and with an extended 30-day trial period for Indian users
Spotifyis looking to fix its underwhelming subscriber growth in the US by expanding into what the company calls ‘rest of the world’ markets, including Japan, Israel, South Africa, Australia and India.
- A report by Variety indicates that the online music streaming service with be available in India by early next year.
- Despite Spotify’s hurdles in securing music rights in India, it seems to have secured music rights from the majority of music labels in the country, including T-Series.
In fact, its launch for India is scheduled within the next six months. Spotify also has plans to extend its usual 30-day free trial period in India, an unusual move considering it didn’t make an exception for launches in Vietnam or South Africa.
Currently, Spotify is only available in Europe, North America and South America. Its expansion plans go beyond just introducing the platform in India but also include what it has termed the ‘rest of the world’ markets including Japan, Israel, South Africa and Australia.
As of September, Spotify had eight million subscribers in the ‘rest of world’ markets with the inception of its streaming service across 13 new markets in the Middle East and North Africa.
India, as one of the three largest music markets that Spotify is yet to penetrate, has the potential drastically expand its subscriber base since it is home to nearly 1.3 billion people.
However, the company has faced criticism for its growth being unable to justify the company’s increasing costs. Daniel Ek, the CEO of Spotify, has maintained that the increase in operational costs will increase profits in the long run along with the number of subscribers.
The importance of Bollywood
The Stockholm-based company’s campaign in India hasn’t been the smoothest ride. In an attempt to secure music right for Spotify, the company approached the artists directly, which led to major record labels threatening to hold off on rights altogether.
Despite the push-back, Spotify continued to acquire music rights. It may not have necessarily gotten the largest labels on board, but it has managed to make deals with the majority. That being said, Bhushan Kumar from T-Series has confirmed that they are working on a deal with the online music streaming service while others like Sony Music have declined to comment on the issue.
It’s key for Spotify to acquire rights to Bollywood music because music from Bollywood films account for more than half of the sales in the country. Even on Saavn, a local music streaming platform recently acquired by Jio and merged with Jio Music, folk and devotional music have the most traction.