Spotify Expands in Asia With India Debut

The global streaming platform takes on Amazon, Google and Apple music in the subcontinent

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By Nidhi Singh


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In the already crowded music streaming market of India, Sweden-based music streaming giant Spotify has marked its entry with a robust pricing model. The global music streaming platform is now available in the subcontinent with both free subscription tier, as well as premium tiers.

For India, Spotify is currently focusing on English and Hindi music, as well as Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu.

Recently, the streaming platform joined hands with the Indian music label T-Series to mark its entry in the Indian market. As part of the deal, Spotify will gain access to T-Series catalog of more than 160,000 songs. These soundtracks are available to Spotify users from January. Here's a look at the expansion journey of the world's biggest music streaming company in the Asia Pacific region.

The Growth

According to a Deloitte study, India will have 273 million online music users by 2020, up from 27 million in 2015. In terms of value, India's digital music industry is forecast to generate more than $430 million of subscription revenue by 2020 from around $70 million in 2013. This essentially means that India's music streaming market is a hot investment opportunity for Spotify.

Launched on 7 October 2008, Spotify monetizes its music through advertisements in addition to selling music subscriptions.

Unlike physical or download sales, which pay artists a fixed price per song or album sold, Spotify pays royalties based on the number of artists' streams as a proportion of total songs streamed. It distributes approximately 70 per cent of total revenue to rights holders, who then pay artists based on their individual agreements. As of January 2019, the company had 200 million monthly active users, including 87 million paying subscribers in 78 countries.

Ahead of its India launch, we trace Spotify's journey in the Asian markets:


In 2013, Spotify made its debut in the island nation at a monthly price of monthly at $7.99 (S$9.90) under Asia head Sunita Kaur. Before joining Spotify, Sunita was the APAC director of advertising for Facebook.

The music app first entered Asia in 2013 with expansion in five countries: Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.


Spotify came to Vietnam in 2018 for a monthly price of VND59,000 ($2.6) for its upgraded ad-free subscription service."We are incredibly excited to launch Spotify in Vietnam with a revolutionary new music experience," said Sunita Kaur, managing director of Spotify Asia, at the launch.


In Japan, Spotify launched its service in 2016 with a free service and the paid premium option at a price of 980 yen ($9.60) a month.


In March 2016, Spotify entered Indonesia. Commenting on the launch, Sunita Kaur, Director for Asia at Spotify, said, "We're extremely proud to bring the world's best music service to Indonesia – completely free to all music fans for life."

At the time of the launch, the premium package of the music app was priced Rp 49.990 per month ( $3.80), though users were also given a 30-day premium trial for free.

Nidhi Singh

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific

A self confessed Bollywood Lover, Travel junkie and Food Evangelist.I like travelling and I believe it is very important to take ones mind off the daily monotony .

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