Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 June 2019

Spotify gains 1 million users in first week in India

Swedish company launched free and premium tiers of its music streaming service in world's second-most populous country

Music streaming service has burst on to the scene in the world's second-most populous country. Reuters
Music streaming service has burst on to the scene in the world's second-most populous country. Reuters

Spotify Technology, the world's most popular paid music streaming service, said it racked up more than 1 million unique users in India across its free and premium tiers since launching less than a week ago.

Spotify launched in India on Tuesday, stepping into a price-sensitive market crowded by well-funded players such as Reliance Industries' JioSaavn and Apple's Apple Music, Reuters said.

Company founder Daniel Ek promised a "custom-built experience" with all-new features tailored for the Indian music lover.

"Not only will Spotify bring Indian artists to the world, we will also bring the world's music to fans across India," Mr Ek said at the time.

The Swedish company is offering a free version that will run with ads, alongside a premium ad-free variant that will charge users 119 Indian rupees (Dh6) per month.

India, with a population of 1.3 billion and more than 400 million smartphone users, is a potentially huge market for the Swedish company.

According to media reports, Tencent-backed Gaana leads the Indian streaming market with over 80 million monthly users. Spotify has 207 million monthly active users globally and 96 million subscribers.

In India, the streaming service also competes with other players including Amazon's Prime Music, Alphabet's Google Play Music and Xiaomi-backed Hungama.

It is the latest expansion for Spotify, which most recently launched in South-East Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and boasts 200 million users in 79 markets.

Reliance - launched by Asia's richest man Mukesh Ambani in 2016 - acquired Indian music streaming platform Saavn in late 2018, AFP reported.

The integration of Saavn with its own music app, Jio Music, was worth $1 billion, Reliance said.

Saavvn offered a vast catalogue of songs across 15 languages but like many streaming apps, it struggled to turn rapid growth into profit.

Spotify turned its first profit in the fourth-quarter last year of €94 million (Dh390.8m) compared with a mean forecast for a loss of €16m in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Updated: March 5, 2019 12:18 PM

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