Global music streaming service Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek said on Wednesday that the company has a good chance of becoming a leading player in the Indian market. Ek commented during Spotify’s post Q4 2018 earnings conference call.
Ek said that India is a very healthy ecosystem that comprises successful home-grown as well as foreign businesses in the marketplace.
“This combined with the level of user interest that we’re seeing for the Spotify brand makes us feel comfortable that we have a good chance of being a very, very strong player in the Indian markets,” Ek said.
He was answering to a question whether India’s increased focus on backing domestic technology industry and introduction of new rules changes the way he would approach the market ahead of Spotify’s launch in the near-term in India.
“We obviously investigate and look at a lot of different factors when we’re evaluating which markets we’re launching in,” said Ek.
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Spotify is expected to mark its foray in India over the next six months, American entertainment news website Variety.com reported in November last year. The company also has plans to provide an extended free trial period — beyond 30 days that it offers to its new customers globally.
Spotify had signalled its India entry during its investor day presentation in March last year. “We are working on launching in some of the biggest markets in the world, including India, Russia, and Africa which has a very rich musical culture,” Ek had said.
In its IPO filing earlier this year, the company had announced leasing an office space in Mumbai last year.
Indian market is already home to multiple players that dominate the music streaming market including Gaana with more than 75 million users, Saavn that merged with JioMusic to rebrand as JioSaavn, Hungama, Airtel Wynk apart from similar services by Google Play, Apple Music and Amazon.
Earlier Gaana CEO Prashan Agarwal had told FE Online that music streaming is a big enough market for 2-3 players to lead it in the long run even as the market is currently at an inflection point that would continue to see intense competition for the next 2-3 years.
In 2018, major labels such as Sony, Universal, etc., have reportedly threatened to thwart Spotify’s launch in India by blocking licenses for the Indian market, arguing that Spotify is bypassing the labels and licensing music from artists directly.