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Spotify India launch seems imminent, confirms CEO

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Spotify (opens in new tab) might just be coming to India soon, according (opens in new tab) to its CEO, Daniel Ek (opens in new tab). During the company’s annual presentation on Thursday, Ek stated that, “We are working on launching in some of the biggest markets in the world, places like India, Russia, and Africa which has a very rich musical culture.”

He didn’t provide any specifics as to when Spotify may release nationally but this confirms that Spotify definitely has India’s music loving audience on its radar. Previous reports have already told us (opens in new tab) that Spotify has leased office space in Mumbai. The report also shows that Spotify has 308 employees across 21 nations, that includes India as well as Brazil, Singapore and others. 

Daniel Ek

Daniel Ek

Spotify in India

India already has access to various music services like Saavn, Gaana, and Hungama. Even international music streaming services like Apple Music (opens in new tab), Amazon Music (opens in new tab) and Google Play Music (opens in new tab) are already present in the Indian market. 

Once Spotify does come into the Indian market, it will have to compete against these established players to capture market share. 

Spotify shouldn’t be too worried though with 71 million paid subscribers, which is double (opens in new tab) Apple Music’s 36 million subscribers and Amazon Music’s 16 million subscribers. 

Tencent Music, which just Gaana’s strategic partner now, has over 120 million paying music streams but it’s service is limited to China for now. Interestingly, Tencent is also in an equity partnership with Gaana, which means they both have minority stakes in each others companies.

The company has recognised that most of its users are under the age of 34, making India an ideal platform to launch on with its current demographic dividend. 

Spotify globally

Spotify has already started expanding globally with launches in South Africa, Vietnam, Israel and Romania within the last week. The service is present in a total of 65 countries around the world within 10 years of it’s initiation. 

Aside of its plans of expansion, Ek also reiterated the plans of Spotify to go public (opens in new tab) on 3 April. 

He explained that, “You won’t see us ringing any bells or throwing any parties. The traditional model for taking a company public isn’t good for us.” 

Instead of Wall Street underwriting their public offering, the company is going down the unbeaten path of directly listing itself on the exchange.

The India music market’s revenue from streaming services is poised to cross Rs 3,100 crore by 2020 according to a report (opens in new tab) by Deloitte and with Spotify leading the world in music streaming, it only makes sense that the company takes advantage of this opportunity. 

Not to say that there won’t be heavy competition, but Spotify’s reputation and content should be enough to carry it through. 

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Prabhjote Gill

Prabhjote Gill is the Senior Journalist at Business Insider India. She covering everything space, tech and defence at Business Insider India. She is also in-charge of allocating stories to junior writers.