spotify launches in india to tap growing digital market

Spotify launches in India to tap growing digital market

Women listen to smartphones on the metro in Delhi Image copyright Getty Images

Music streaming giant Spotify has launched its service in India, hoping to tap into millions of consumers in a rapidly growing market.

Multilingual music recommendations and playlists featuring music from popular Bollywood movies are among the features on offer to attract users.

The music streaming powerhouse will face stiff competition from rivals already in India.

It is branching out beyond music and recently launched in the Middle East.

The Swedish firm will compete with other services already operating in India, such as Gaana, Saavn, Google Play and Apple Music.

“Indians love music. It’s an inherent part of our lifestyle and culture, whether we pray, work, or relax,” Spotify India’s managing director Amarjit Singh Batra said in a statement.

“The mobile internet revolution has led to a rapid rise in the number of connected Indians, making music streaming the preferred way to enjoy music here.”

India’s music streaming market currently has around 150 million users, said Tarun Pathak, associate director at Counterpoint Research.

That could reach up to 400 million users in the next three to four years, he said.

Spotify Premium will be priced at 119 rupees ($1.68, £1.27) a month, which is broadly comparable with prices offered by other services in India.

The firm said playlists will be curated by Indian music experts, while “city playlists” will use algorithms to spot trends in the country’s main cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore.

Earlier this month Spotify posted its first quarterly profit, and said operating income, net income, and free cash flow were all positive for the first time.

Spotify also has plans to move beyond music into the growing podcast market.

It bought Gimlet Media, the company behind a string of popular podcasts including Reply All, and podcast publishing platform Anchor.

It has pledged to spend up to $500m this year on further podcast-related acquisitions.

Spotify, which was first launched in 2008, is available in 79 markets and has 207 million active users.