Music streaming services in India are in for a tough competition ahead as Spotify is marking its entry into the market. The Swedish music service reportedly opened its office in India, a more than a subtle hint it might soon start offering localized content.
As reported by Killer Features, Spotify opened its office last year in Mumbai as per the documents submitted to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Although setting up the infrastructure in a new market is an indication of soon starting a business, it is so far unclear as to when Spotify will begin offering its services to Indians.
The news follows Spotify’s decision to directly list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to bypass the conventional way of listing for the IPO. This not only saves the costs for the company but also saved stakeholders from the lock-in period. As reported by ET in January, this Spotify’s listing could prompt Indian regulators to replicate the model here, especially when it comes to startups.
Meanwhile, for Spotify to operate in India, the challenges will include offering local as well as regional content. In this segment, homegrown services such as Gaana and Saavn already have an edge. In addition to that, the new focus area for digital entertainment services is original content. Gaana, for one, runs its own series of original shows and songs where it also features new artists.
Spotify currently boasts over 70 million subscribers as compared to Apple Music which has about 30 million paid users. It is worth noting that globally popular Apple Music is still behind Gaana which recorded 50 million active monthly users as of December 2017.
Another challenge for Spotify will be its pricing. The service currently has a freemium model where users can subscribe for the paid service for full access. In India, most streaming services offer similar models. Apple Music, which offers services at $9.99 per month in the US is priced at Rs 120 per month here. Going by this model, we can expect Spotify to launch at a similar pricing.