Anirban Roy Choudhury
Digital

"We are looking forward to develop a whole new generation of local users into loyalists": Amarjit Singh Batra

Spotify, Managing Director - India, Amarjit Singh Batra is upbeat about the streaming platform's launch in India.

Stockholm Sweden headquartered, Spotify quietly launched the music streaming app in India. Priced at Rs 119 per month, Spotify will now fight it out with the likes of iTunes, Google Play music, Times Internet's Gaana, Reliance acquired Saavn, Airtel's Wynk, Hungama Digital's Hungama Music and others. In Deloitte's recently (February 2019) released report - "Audio-OTT economy in India - Inflection Point" - the firm estimates India's recorded music industry to be around Rs 850 crore.

"We are looking forward to develop a whole new generation of local users into loyalists": Amarjit Singh Batra

Amarjit Singh Batra

"India is a huge market and we believe we are debuting here at the right time, given the size and health of the music industry, the growing creator ecosystem, increasing smartphone penetration, and evolving consumer segments. We are thrilled to be a part of this thriving market and believe there is always an opportunity for brands as long as they appeal to consumers through constant innovation, engaging content and work as responsible vested partners in developing the local industry ecosystem," says Amarjit Singh Batra, Managing Director India, Spotify.

The freemium audio OTT platform has priced its premium at Rs 119 per month, a rupee less than Apple Music's Rs 120.

"For our paid 'premium' offering, our pricing stemmed from our belief to offer a music service that's fairly priced and remains competitive in the country. Our ability to establish revenues in markets new to streaming and getting people to pay for music regularly, is well established," adds Batra.

Spotify claims that its users in India will have access to over 40mn songs including international and local content. "This reiterates our mission of ensuring there is music for everyone to access and discover, with nearly 30,000 exciting new songs being added every day, globally," asserts Batra.

He informs that Spotify took into account "India's deep-rooted heritage in music" and have developed the India app to deliver a "localised experience which is "unique" to every user right from Day 1". "Users can experience this through language-based recommendations and access to over 100 playlists curated just for India, including single and multilingual ones. One of the most interesting new additions we've made for the Spotify India app is the city playlists where users can find out what's hot in the city, with new algorithmic playlists tracking what's trending in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, and Chennai," informs Batra.

Siddhartha Roy, COO of Hungama Digital Media says, "India is one of the most dynamic and fast-evolving markets in the world. In the last year, Hungama Music saw a 3x growth in the number of streams and an increasing acceptance from regional centres. The entry of a new player will expand the market further and build a large music streaming ecosystem."

Spotify claims it has 207 million users across 79 markets around the world of which 96 million are premium subscribers. In India, both advertising and subscription are important for the streaming platform informs Batra. "From an audience perspective, our intent is to reach out to anyone and everyone who loves music. Whether you're at the starting point in that journey, a habitual listener or somewhere in between (listen to music while running, cooking, relaxing etc.)" he adds.

He believes the growth of music streaming will be driven by youth in the age group of 18 and even younger, to 35 years as almost 85 per cent of these users would access the music through connected mobile devices. "This would be driven by the preference of consuming the music services anytime, anywhere. Through the growing access of the internet and global culture influence, we were excited to know that we already have a passionate audience base in India that truly understands the unparalleled music streaming experience Spotify has to offer. We believe in the power of our service as we are looking forward to engaging with our fans and develop a whole new generation of local users into loyalists," concludes Batra.