tech2 News Staff Nov 28, 2018 12:33 PM IST
For quite some time the Indian online music streaming industry has been dominated by the likes of Wynk, Gaana, Apple Music, Saavn, Google Music and more. However, there was no presence of the world's biggest music streaming company, Spotify, in India.
Earlier this year it was announced by Spotify CEO Daniel Ek that the streaming giant will be making its way to India soon. Now we have a time frame.
As per a report by Variety, Spotify, after having launched its services in 13 new markets recently, will be bringing its services to India in the next six months. Indians will also be getting an extended free trial period which is more than the 30 days offered in the above mentioned 13 markets.
Back in March, Spotify had leased land in Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai and hired 300 people to set up an office in India.
However, overcoming the local competition is a big hurdle that Spotify must overcome. As per the report, Gaana's securing of a $115 million funding from China's Tencent and Times Internet and Saavn and JioMusic merging in a $1 billion deal makes matters very tough for Spotify. Apart from that international brands such as Apple Music and Google Music have massive backing from their respective companies.
A report by Di Digital has said that acquisition of Gaana and Saavn have been considered as possible means to secure a strong foothold in the country. Even so, Spotify's own financial troubles are weighing them down. Variety has reported that Spotify lost an estimated $12 billion in value in recent weeks dropping from $35 billion to about $22.9 billion today.
“India specifically is a very fragmented marketplace with lots of different local labels, lots of different local publishers,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek told analysts in November.
Licensing is another issue that Spotify will have to navigate. As per the report many of the major music labels in India have threatened to not provide licenses to Spotify after it was revealed that the streaming giant wants to license acts directly, bypassing the record companies.
A Bloomberg report has quoted T-Series managing director Bhushan Kumar as saying, “Our deal with them is on,”.
The Variety report iterates that Spotify will be offering its free services for a long duration as a stepping stone for users to subscribe to its more lucrative paid package. But India is a country with about 100 million people streaming music, the majority of which are unpaid owing to the endless supply of music on YouTube.
How Spotify will overcome all these challenges is something only time will tell.