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Spotify targets regional languages to drive growth in India

spotify hifi
(Image credit: Spotify)

Having arrived in India just a couple of years ago, music streaming service Spotify is now looking to expand its services into the smaller cities and towns. In an event streamed online, the company announced that it plans to offer the app in 36 different languages that include Hindi and 11 other Indian languages.

These Indian languages are Gujarati, Bhojpuri, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, and Bengali – while the titles will continue to remain available in English. That being said the app is already available in international languages like English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Indonesian, and Japanese.

With the localization, Spotify takes on local players like JioSaavn, Gaana etc that already are available in various India languages. Spotify however has not announced any timelines for making content available in regional Indian languages. 

Though Spotify offers songs in Hindi and various other languages, it still won't offer lyrics in these languages. Interestingly, Musixmatch that powers lyrics in Hindi on Gaana is a lyrics partner for Spotify as well. We expect this to change soon when the Spotify app starts offering regional Indian language content.

“Spotify is deeply invested in the global audio streaming ecosystem, and aims to become the world’s first true audio platform…We are here for the long term, and there is no doubt that India has been one of our fastest growing and most important markets,” said Gustav Gyllenhammar, Spotify Vice President, Markets and Subscriber Growth.

Regional content powers growth 

In a country as vast as India where users speak a variety of languages, tech companies must focus on content that can connect with users beyond metros. To recall, it took Netflix almost four and a half years to start offering regional content which resulted in a staggering 700% growth.

Google has time and again revealed the importance of regional content and has stated that Hindi speaking audience form a major share of its user base and 54% of its audience prefer Hindi content while only 16% of users follow content in English (16%). 

The fact remains that the cumulative count of Google’s audience for other prominent India languages including Telugu, Kannada, Tamil and Bengali outnumber English content easily.

The same trend has thus been followed by various other platforms including Snapchat, Sharechat etc which in turn has made India one of their biggest markets globally outside the United States.

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