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Google Makes It Clear That the Spotify Fight Has Only Just Begun

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Google widens the competitive frontier with Amazon

Google (GOOGL) recently launched its YouTube Music service in India, with the move coming just days after Spotify (SPOT) finally made its long-anticipated entry into India’s streaming music market.

The launch of YouTube’s music app in India sees Google joining the likes of Amazon (AMZN), Tencent (TCEHY), and Apple in the chase for streaming music revenue in one of the world’s most coveted digital markets. Amazon launched its Prime music service in India a year ago, and Tencent owns a stake in Gaana, one of India’s homegrown streaming music services. Apple has been offering its Apple Music service in India for several years now.

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Google and Spotify lean on competitive pricing to penetrate India

The deepening Internet penetration in India is fueling the uptake of streaming music services in the country. According to Deloitte estimates, there were 27 million streaming users in India in 2015. By the end of 2020, the number is expected to grow to 273 million users.

Google’s flagship YouTube platform is already a popular destination for music fans in India, but YouTube’s music app is the company’s main vehicle in the pursuit of streaming music dollars.

As latecomers in India’s streaming music market, Google and Spotify can be seen leaning on competitive pricing to accelerate their growth in the market. When Spotify launched in India on February 28, it priced its premium plan at ~$1.65 per month, significantly lower than the $10 it charges in the United States. Google has countered that by pricing its premium YouTube music plan at ~$1.45 per month.

Last year, Spotify partnered with Samsung (SSNLF) to help it extend its reach. The partnership saw Spotify become the default music app on Samsung devices. Samsung is one of the top smartphone vendors in India.

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