Since last few days, rumours of OLX India CEO Amarjit Singh Batra joining Spotify were doing rounds in the media and entertainment ecosystem. Well, now the man himself has put an end to all speculations. On Tuesday night, Batra uploaded a picture on his LinkedIn account where he was posing with the Spotify Logo. On his LinkedIn account, he now calls himself "Spotifier at Spotify." His role in the company, according to his profile is "To help people listen to whatever music they want, whenever they want, wherever they want."
Spotify is world's largest music streaming platform and has over 150 million active users. It is a 'freemium' platform, which offers both advertising based free access and subscription based ad-free option to customers. The Stockholm headquartered music behemoth has over 70 million paid subscribers at its possession. Founded by Daniel EK who is the CEO of the organisation and Martin Lorentzon (co-founder), Spotify started its operation in 2008 from Sweden. In 2009, it started registering subscribers from UK and in 2011 it launched in the US with a six months free trail offer. Spotify first entered Asia in 2013 with launches in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore. Couple of years later, it expanded its footprints in Indonesia and Japan, and now in the Asia Pacific region operates in seven countries. Last year in August, Spotify made its services available for music lovers in Thailand, and Vietnam certainly seems to be the next one. According to reports, Spotify is extremely serious about India and after Vietnam; second largest populous country of the world seems to be the next on the cards. Media observers believe Batra's role will be to form a team and launch the service in India.
In early 2000, Napster was the dream destination for pirated content consumers but was eventually forced to shut down. Daniel Ek launched Spotify to convert Napster pirates into paying consumers. His model worked, and the 2008 launched organisation, which went public recently, is valued at $26 billion. Spotify signs deals with music labels and pays them depending on the revenue they generate. The label then compensates the artist as per signed terms and conditions. In India, Times Internet's Gaana and Mukesh Ambani acquired Saavn, are the biggest players. Gaana boasts of crossing 50 million monthly active users while Saavn claims to have 20 million monthly actives. Both the platforms are 'freemium' in nature, and have both free and paid offerings. Recently, Amazon Music too entered the market and has acquired a lot of musical content.
Spotify which competes with Apple Music, Pandora and SoundCloud in international markets, will face stiff competition in India as Gaana and Saavn will enjoy early mover's advantage. Spotify's subscription pack is priced at $9.99 (Rs 651) per month in the US; in Thailand it offers its premium services at 129 THB ($4 and Rs 261). It would be interesting to see the pricing in India, where Gaana and Saavn are available at Rs 99 per month.
Batra, who built OLX business, from its scratch in India, will be closely observed as he takes on the herculean task to launch and grow Spotify in the country.