Can Spotify woo 400 mn Android users in India?

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By Krishna SinhaChaudhury

New Delhi– The music streaming market in India is thriving. After clocking one million users in India within a week of its launch, Swedish music streaming giant Spotify is giving tough competition to rivals like Apple Music, Gaana, JioSaavn and Amazon Music.

The question is: Does it have the potential to become a favourite of over 400 million smartphone users in the country?

According to a report by Deloitte and Indian music-industry body IMI that came out last month, the audio and video OTT market in India is valued at around $280 million. The evolving audio OTT market provides nearly 150 million monthly active users access to millions of soundtracks across platforms.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s “Global Music Report 2018” says that revenue from digital contributed Rs 665 crore (78.5 per cent) of the overall music revenue of Rs 850 crore in 2018.

Of the total music revenue, audio OTT revenue accounted for 66.8 per cent — Rs 567 crore.

On the ground, the user streaming penetration for India is only 6.4 per cent when compared globally.

According to Counterpoint Research, with 98 per cent Android share of installed smartphone base, Stockholm-headquartered Spotify is better placed than its rivals and can better target Android users who are always looking to try new music streaming apps.

“Spotify is also better placed when comes to striking relevant local partnerships or creating vernacular music content by giving more opportunities to regional artists as it comes with rich international experience and capability to tweak business model by a region like India,” Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research, told IANS.

An Apple Music subscription in India costs Rs 120 a month and Spotify is offering its subscription for Rs 119, along with flexible pre-paid plans.

Spotify is offering over four crore songs and 300 crore playlists for fans in the country.

“We have taken a conscious stride towards introducing a service that delivers the best music experience, appealing across diverse user sentiments.

“We believe our pursuit to constantly improve keeping our users at the heart of our innovation would build a whole new generation of loyalists positioning us to become the most preferred music streaming destination in India,” Amarjit Singh Batra, Managing Director India, Spotify, told IANS.

Spotify has over 100 playlists curated for India, with a few being language focused and a few multi-lingual.

“We’ve customised the Spotify experience for India through a localised interface, an in-house editorial team and algorithms that help users discover newer music, deeply-curated playlists based on moods and moments, ability to connect Spotify through hundreds of devices and platforms such as Google Maps, Tinder, Xbox and Apple Watch,” added Batra.

Some of the new additions are city playlists, with new algorithmic playlists tracking what’s trending in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai.

When asked about future collaborations with Indian labels, Batra said: “As a general principle, we do not discuss our deals with partners, including labels. However, you can be assured that with over 40 million songs and over 300 crore playlists, our users have access to a great music library.” (IANS)

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