Today, we’re excited to announce that Spotify is now available in India with all-new features that are finely tuned to Indian music fans’ personal tastes. https://t.co/mjy1d6WkRD
— Spotify News (@SpotifyNews) February 27, 2019
Spotify has launched in India, even as its legal fight over streaming rights with Warner Music continues. Spotify Premium comes at a monthly subscription of Rs 119, and a yearly subscription of Rs 1189.
- It is also available on plans of 7 days, 3 months, and 6 months, for Rs 39, Rs 389, and Rs 719 respectively.
- Students will get at 50% off of Premium plans; monthly plans for students at Rs 59
- Spotify Free is available without forced shuffle, every song available on-demand (Which is interesting, given its recent move where it would kick you off the platform for having adblockers.)
- Spotify is streaming music in Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, and Telugu
- Spotify launched with several playlists including for Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, and also for rap, Punjabi music etc.
- One-time payments can be made via Paytm and UPI, apart from debit/credit cards
Spotify’s India head Amarjit Batra said that the service launched just as K-pop becomes more popular, Punjabi music gains ground, and Indie artists increase. The service will also curate “Starring” playlists for music centred around an actor.
Spotify in India will cost $1.39 per month (99 rupees), vs $9.99 in US. This acknowledges a basic reality that many others (Netflix, Ikea, Starbucks etc) are in denial about: if you apply US-level pricing in India, you are pitching to a total potential audience of fewer than 50m.
— Stanley Pignal (@spignal) February 26, 2019
That’s not the only plan Spotify is launching with in India. You can choose from Rs. 13 per day to Rs. 1,189 for the full year. And there’s a half-off student membership too. Don’t see a family subscription yet though :( #SpotifyIndia pic.twitter.com/q5GZeqenWV
— Akhil Arōrā (@akhil_arora) February 26, 2019
News of Spotify’s India launch first surfaced in November last year, although Spotify struck a deal with T-Series only last month. It also secured deals with Universal and Sony Music. Early in January, Spotify had also accidentally let out a launch date of January 31, 2019, when it updated the end user agreement of India users.
Streaming rights battle with Warner Music
According to a Times of India report, the Bombay High Court refused to grant a stay on Spotify’s launch after Warner Music filed an injunction for doing so. The court asked Spotify to deposit Rs 6.5 crore in court, clearing the way for it to launch in the country. Warner Music had taken Spotify to court to restrain it from streaming music from its catalogue via a statutory license. Although negotiations for streaming rights were ongoing between the two for months, Spotify said that Warner had backed out at the last moment, after which Spotify filed for a statutory license under the Copyright Act, 1957.
The Bombay HC judge hearing the matter, Justice SJ Kathawalla, had asked both parties to see if they could resolve the matter, per TOI. After they couldn’t, the court has posted the matter for hearing after four weeks. The court has directed Spotify to file its reply within three weeks, and Warner Music to then file a rejoinder within a week thereafter. Spotify is now available in 79 countries, with 200 million users and 87 million subscribers.