| 21 Feb 2024
The road ahead for Spotify in Indian market

MUMBAI: In April 2018, the Swedish music streaming giant announced its mega entry in India and by November 2018, the Swedish company is taking some solid steps before formally entering the buzzing Indian market. With the current market speculation, the music streaming app will be all set to go live in the first quarter of 2019.

Despite India being one of the fastest growing markets, Spotify’s entry here has been delayed for multiple reasons. Simultaneously, the company has expanded its footprint in the Middle-East and North Africa; however, the expansion in these areas will still not match up with the amount of growth that Indian market promises.

The sailing hasn’t been smooth since the announcement in the first quarter of 2018, as the company saw itself in multiple problems. The first one was signing deals directly with the musicians, which was not taken in good spirit by many music labels. The talk of poaching senior management from other companies was also another talked about news of the company. However, the recent confirmation by the most sought-after music label, T-Series, about their deal being still on with Spotify has cemented the music streaming company’s name in the market further.

The bigger challenge, however, will be after the company begins its functioning. One of the prime challenges will be getting paid subscribers in India. Indian audiences are still not used to the concept of ‘paying for music’, a mentality that Spotify will have to battle out. In rest of the market, Spotify is known to lure the free customer-base into premium or paid subscription. In India, only time will tell how this strategy will be effective.

Another challenge is the already cluttered music streaming market. Most of the telecom companies offer music streaming along with the phone connection. Competitive rates of data and wide range of music library available on their allied platforms, narrows the scope for Spotify.

Another major point that is not ignored by Spotify’s global CEO Daniel Ek either, is the fragmented market of Indian music. The major consumption is of Bollywood music, barring which there is Pop, folk and devotional music are the choices. However, of the three major global music labels, only Sony Music has a considerable presence in the country and thus acquiring music could be a daunting task for Spotify.

Currently, Jio Music’s collaboration with Saavn in the month of April, dominates the Indian Market with a library of 40 million songs. Where and how Spotfiy will make a niche for itself, is a question that only time will answer.