Sweden-headquartered music streaming giant Spotify is in the process of launching operations in India, co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek announced recently during the company’s investor day presentation.
He said, “We are working on launching in some of the biggest markets in the world, including India, Russia, and Africa which has a very rich musical culture.”
Although Daniel didn’t reveal any specific timeline for the India launch, the company reportedly leased an office space in Mumbai last year. As per its public offering filings, Spotify had a total of 308 employees in India and 20 other countries including Brazil, Turkey, Belgium, Singapore, Australia and Spain towards the end of 2017.
Specific details about its Indian operations, however, were not disclosed. Earlier in 2016, the music streaming company had hired former Google executive Akshat Harbola as its Head of Market Operations, India.
Spotify: A Look At Its Key Stats
Launched in 2008, Spotify currently boasts a paid subscriber base of 71 Mn, spread across most of Europe, North and South Americas, Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia. Last month, the company filed for direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange and is scheduled to begin trading on April 3.
Here are some of the key Spotify stats as shared during its investor day presentation:
- Over 50 Mn users globally listen to Spotify in their cars.
- 72% of Spotify users are under the age of 34, while 43% are under the age of 24.
- Over 75% of Spotify users use the service on multiple devices. So far, the company has partnered with more than 250 businesses across televisions, cars, laptops, receivers, and speakers, among others.
- Mobile and connected devices account for around 73% of total Spotify streams.
- Paid users stream an average of more than 80 minutes of content daily.
- The Spotify marketplace has over 3 Mn artists, who contribute 20,000 pieces of music on a daily basis. The company is currently aiming to increase its artist base to around 10 Mn.
Earlier, in December 2017, Spotify, Chinese investment giant Tencent Holdings and its subsidiary Tencent Music Entertainment Group jointly announced equity investments, geared towards strengthening their presence in the global music streaming market.
Speaking on the partnership, Ek said during the presentation, “Our view is that the Chinese market isn’t necessarily very favourable to western companies, so our view was we wanted to get exposure to that growth. Of course we’re trying to learn from that business, as they’re trying to learn from what we do, but that’s the extent of the partnership.”
A Look At Spotify’s Competitors In India
If Spotify decides to set up operations in India, it will face direct competition from other music streaming services like Gaana, Amazon Prime Music, Apple Music, Google Play Music, Saavn, Hungama and Airtel’s Wynk, among others.
Recently, in the fourth week of February, homegrown digital music service provider Gaana announced a $115 Mn fundraise from Tencent and Times Internet, in order to boost the user experience on its platform and strengthen its tech.
As shared by the company, it intends to use AI to personalise music experiences for each consumer, to further develop its subscription product for paying users, and to develop aligned music experiences for Gaana consumers.
Around the same time, Amazon India rolled out its music streaming service – Amazon Prime Music – in the country. As part of the move, the Indian arm of the ecommerce giant signed a partnership with Saregama to stream its catalogue of 117K tracks spread over 15,000 albums on its Amazon Prime Music portal.
With over 60 Mn online music service users in India, the market size of the online music streaming industry is poised to reach a new pinnacle with the country’s Internet user base expected to reach 500 Mn by mid 2018. How the entry of an established, global name like Spotify will affect the existing players in the space remains to be seen.
(The development was reported by ET)