Spotify introduces feature restrictions for free users in India

Spotify has officially revealed a set of adjustments affecting its free-tier users in India. Effective immediately, these users will experience restrictions, including the removal of features such as song repeat functionality, song seeking within tracks, song order customization, and the ability to disable the “smart shuffle” feature.

This move brings Spotify’s free offering in India in closer alignment with the limitations already imposed in the Brazilian market. To ensure user comprehension and acceptance, Spotify plans to implement in-app notifications to educate free users about these changes.

India has consistently ranked as one of Spotify’s top markets in terms of monthly active users, although it has not been among the highest revenue-generating regions for the company.

Notably, the conversion rate to paid subscriptions in India exceeds the local industry average. Spotify has offered an attractively priced monthly individual subscription option at Rs 119 in India, significantly lower than the $10.99 monthly rate in the United States. Additionally, Spotify provides “mini” mobile-only subscription plans in India, starting at just Rs 7 per day.

Amarjit Singh Batra, Managing Director of Spotify in India, has articulated that these restrictions constitute an integral component of the platform’s broader strategy to redirect users away from piracy and subpar music services, ultimately encouraging them to adopt paid subscriptions. Batra remains optimistic about Spotify’s continued growth trajectory in India, even in light of these alterations.

Spotify’s announcement follows the transitions of local competitors Gaana and Resso to subscription-only models. However, Spotify has no intentions of raising subscription prices in India. Instead, the company aims to intensify its efforts in marketing partnerships and enhancing premium user experiences as means to stimulate subscription conversions. Collaborations with e-commerce entities and smartphone manufacturers have been pivotal components of this strategy.

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