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Is Spotify ready to hit play in India?

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Popular streaming platform Spotify seems to be gearing up for its India launch which is rumoured to be by the end of January, 2019. The company, on the terms and end-user-agreement page of its Indian website, accidentally revealed its launch date as 31st January 2019.

Ever since the story about the alleged launch date broke after Aroon Deep tweeted about it, Spotify replaced the page with an older version of the company’s terms and conditions.

 

This development corroborates with a Variety report which was published earlier week which suggested a similar India launch date for Spotify.

In March 2018, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek had first announced plans to enter the India market at the company’s investor day presentation, prior to its direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The company also appointed former OLX India CEO Amarjit Singh Batra as Spotify’s India country head.

However, during the company’s earnings conference call in November last year, Ek announced that the India launch was delayed due to licensing. He also mentioned that India being a fragmented marketplace, there are a lot of different local labels and local publishers. This adds to the difficultly in predicting as to when they will enter the world’s second-largest Internet market.

Recently, Spotify and Indian music giant T-Series confirmed their global content deal which will see Spotify’s worldwide audience gain access to T-Series’ entire Indian song catalogue including Bollywood and regional movie soundtracks, as well as a wealth of non-film albums and emerging artist content. With over 160,000 songs, the T-Series catalogue boasts many of the most popular Indian songs recorded over the past 30 years and will be available to all Spotify users from today.

Spotify, recently crossing over 200 million global monthly active users, will have to compete with rivals like JioSaavn, Apple Music, Google Play Music, Hungama, Gaana and Amazon Prime Music in India.

Innovating along the way, the streaming company is now planning to roll out a voice-controlled hardware unit designed to be used in the car which will reportedly offer an Alexa-rivalling ‘Spotify Voice’ system with which drivers and passengers can communicate. Also, the streaming service is currently testing a block feature which will allow users to block an artist from showing up on a radio station, chart list or personalised playlists like Daily Mix or Discover Weekly. This feature which will be released on its updated iOS app, according to tech news site Thurrott.

 

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