The belated launch will see Spotify enter a highly price-sensitive market that already supports a number of established players, such as Apple Music and JioSaavn, yet Spotify said it saw huge opportunities in a country that has an estimated 400 million active internet users out of a population of more than 1.3 billion.
“India has an incredibly rich music culture and to best serve this market, we’re launching a custom-built experience,” said Daniel Ek, Spofify’s founder and CEO, in a statement.
Indian consumers will be offered a free version of the streaming app that will carry ads, a pay-as-you-go option allowing access to Spotify Premium for Rs 13 (18 cents) a day, or monthly subscription to Spotify Premium for Rs 119 ($1.67) per month.
That monthly fee is substantially cheaper than what is charged in the US ($9.99), France (€9.99, $11.30) and the UK (£9.99, $13.25), reflecting what Venture Beat described as the “unique challenge India presents to global companies”.
According to Spotify, the special set of exclusive features designed for the Indian market include multilingual music recommendations and playlists, including top hits in Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil and other national languages.
Music from popular Bollywood movies will be on offer in addition to new city playlists which track what is trending in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai.
Spotify also announced that three major brands – Anheuser-Busch InBev, the international brewer, OnePlus, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer, and Brand USA, America’s national marketing organisation – have signed up as launch partners.
All three will have exclusive rights to launch their advertising campaigns on Spotify India, although Spotify APAC’s Sunita Kaur made clear the company is looking to involve other advertisers too.
“The Indian advertising industry is thriving as brands target active internet users,” she said. “We are thrilled to launch in India with three incredible, diverse brands and we are exploring more opportunities to bring other advertisers on board in this market.”
Sourced from Spotify, Venture Beat; additional content by WARC staff