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How Spotify Is Preparing for India Launch


Jan. 17 2019, Published 8:25 a.m. ET

It’s almost here

Spotify (SPOT) is preparing to launch in India by the end of January, Variety reported citing people familiar with the company’s plans. While the exact date that Spotify will make its debut in India remains a closely guarded secret for now, the company is making preparations for its India launch. On January 14, Spotify announced a global content distribution agreement with T-Series, one of India’s leading music and film companies. The deal with T-Series gives Spotify more than 160,000 songs, which its listeners can access from anywhere in the world.

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An attractive digital music market

In November last year, Bloomberg reported that Spotify had secured content deals with many of the top rights holders in India. India presents a huge growth opportunity for digital music providers like Spotify. According to a Deloitte study, digital music subscription sales in India could generate $430 million in revenue by 2020, up from $70 million in 2013. At the same time, India’s deepening Internet penetration is creating more digital music consumers. Deloitte estimates that there will be more than 270 million online music listeners in India by 2020, up from just 27 million in 2015.

Indian market tight with competition

But India won’t be a walk in the park even for a big digital music brand like Spotify. The company will face off with a bevy of competitors in India, ranging from homegrown providers such as Gaana to global big shots such as Google (GOOGL) and Amazon (AMZN). Google’s YouTube has been operating in India for years and has become a popular destination for online music in the country. Amazon launched its music streaming service in India last year.

Spotify generated more than $1.5 billion in revenue in the third quarter of 2018, an increase of 31% YoY. Pandora (P) and Sirius XM (SIRI) grew their third-quarter revenues by 16% and 6.4% YoY, respectively.


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