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Why Spotify Could Beat Apple Music in India

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Mar. 6 2019, Published 4:12 p.m. ET

Spotify reached the 1 million mark in India in one week

Music streaming giant Spotify (SPOT) finally launched its service in India in the last week of February despite the deadlock with WarnerMusic. However, the company said that it already had one million subscribers in India including paid subscribers and ad-based users within one week of the launch.

Spotify’s competitors including local ones like Wynk, Hungama, Saavn, and Tencent-backed (TCEHY) Gaana already have solid footing in India. Apple (AAPL) Music, Amazon (AMZN), and Google (GOOG) have also made their service available in India for a while now.

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Thus, achieving that landmark within a week is quite an achievement for Spotify. The streaming giant is offering one free month of trial subscription. After the trial, a subscription will be just 119 rupees (or $1.67) per month in the country. That entry price could particularly attract the music-loving tech-savvy young population of India.

Spotify might reach more subscribers in India than Apple Music

While Apple’s service is also neck-and-neck with Spotify, iPhones haven’t sold in big numbers in India, and thus its service could be limited to the relatively low amount of iPhone owners. Apple charges its Indian customers 120 rupees a month.

While Spotify does face competition as alluded to earlier, it still has a lot of scope for growth. The country has a population of 1.3 billion, but according to a report by Delloite, only 150 million people subscribe to a music streaming service, and only 15% of the subscribers have a subscription through a bundled package like Amazon or a direct music streaming subscription. The rest stream music through a free subscription.

Another issue Spotify might face in India is the underdeveloped Internet infrastructure, which might hamper its service in remote areas. However, improving Internet speeds and growing middle-class income are all tailwinds for Spotify in India.

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