ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Companies

Spotify enters India music-streaming market to take on Apple, Amazon

Swedish company offering free music supported by advertising on its app

Analysts say Spotify is "late to the party" in India given how crowded the local market is.   © Reuters

MUMBAI (NewsRise) -- Spotify, the world's most popular paid music-streaming service, has made its debut in India, heating up competition for Tencent Holdings-backed Gaana and Apple Music in the South Asian nation's crowded music-streaming market.

"The mobile internet revolution has led to a rapid rise in the number of connected Indians, making music streaming the preferred way to enjoy the music here," Amarjit Singh Batra, managing director of Spotify India, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Swedish company is offering free music on its app supported by advertisements, while a premium ad-free service is offered at 119 rupees ($1.67) fee a month. The company in January struck a partnership with Indian music publishing label T-Series, which claims to have a catalog of 160,000 songs.

The launch comes as India's music-streaming market draws the attention of many global players, including Apple, e-commerce giant Amazon, and China's Tencent Holdings. Apple launched its music-streaming services in India in 2015. Last year, Amazon offered its Prime Music in India at no extra cost to members of its Prime program.

Amazon's announcement followed close on the heels of a $115 million investment by Tencent and Indian firm Times Internet in Gaana, a major music-streaming app and competitor to local rival JioSaavn, owned by Reliance Industries. Gaana was founded by Times Internet, a unit of Times Group, which publishes the Times of India newspaper.

Music- and video-streaming have been gaining ground in India over the past few years as high-speed internet becomes ubiquitous and adoption of smartphones gathers pace. With more than 400 million users, India is already the largest smartphone market in the world after China. Sales of smartphones have been driven by the availability of high-speed internet services at inexpensive tariffs after billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio Infocomm shook up India's wireless market with cut-rate prices.

In a bid to significantly expand digital content offered by its wireless venture and lift demand for data, Jio last year purchased a stake in Indian music streaming service Saavn.

Spotify's efforts to make money through subscriptions may hit a wall with the competition in India, analysts say.

"It is difficult to see how they will make India an attractive opportunity. They are very late to the party," said Satish Meena, an analyst with Forrester Research. "The space is even smaller when it comes to paid subscription. A lot of people still don't want to spend on ad-free model for music."

According to Forrester, Gaana tops India's music-streaming market with 80 million users.

--Dhanya Ann Thoppil

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends June 30th

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media