Spotify India’s growing subscriptions in a price-sensitive market

In an interview with YourStory’s Daily Dispatch, Amarjit Singh Batra, Managing Director, Spotify India, shares insights on the music streaming industry and the evolution of podcasts.
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In 2019, global music streaming platform Spotify launched its music streaming app in the Indian market. Based on the advertisements and subscriptions revenue model, the Sweden-based company has churned out Rs 16.12 crore in operating revenue in FY20. 

Its revenue from subscriptions of Rs 9.75 crore accounts for around 65 percent of the total revenue. 

“We are here to help the music industry grow. We are here to help the music artists and creators get recognised, not only in India but around the world,” says Amarjit Singh Batra, Managing Director, Spotify India. 

He says Spotify is building a habit of streaming for its Indian user base as it is working towards a solution to make streaming the main destination for people to tune in for music. India is a price-sensitive market since people aren’t keen to pay for their music. In view of this, Spotify India seeks to encourage a gradual push to subscriptions. 

He opines the company’s strategy to provide a variety of paid plans for listeners has helped bring up its subscription numbers. The music app offers plans that target multiple combinations, such as family, students, duo, premium mini, and its standard plan

For Spotify, India is going to be a long term investment, Amarjit says. 

According to a study by VTION in January this year, Spotify owns 15 percent of the total market share in the Indian music streaming market. 

Industry experts also found a 40 percent increase in people subscribing to streaming music and spending time on these platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the lack of new releases, people were discovering music, and the earlier Bollywood hits, were still topping charts. 

Along with music, streaming platforms are also delving into the potential of podcasts. There has been a noticeable increase in the number of podcasts and their popularity. This has led Spotify India to include a flurry of genres in podcasts to keep users engaged, including those that use the app for music. 

“India is turning into an amazing growth story,” quips Amarjit on the growth trajectory of the platform. According to PwC’s Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2020 report, India is claimed to have 57.6 million monthly listeners, which makes it the third-largest consumer of podcasts. 

To further bolster this growing segment, Spotify launched a podcast-making tool, Anchor, which allows creators to record and edit podcasts, subsequently uploaded on Spotify. 

In fact, the platform is seeing a big uptake in regional users from India foraying into content creation. 

Going forward, Spotify India will continue to pivot the ‘passion economy’ as it readies to upgrade its platform with new features. 

Gauging the popularity of podcasts and audiobooks, the platform is introducing a Music+Talk feature, which presents spoken word content along with the music. 

The company is also coming up with a ‘Blend’ feature that connects two users and combines their recommendations

Edited by Suman Singh