Spotify could launch in India as soon as January 31.
That’s according to a report published by Variety today (January 15), citing sources, and adding that the company ‘is rumored to be hosting a launch party in Mumbai on January 31’.
India has a population of 1.3bn people and was the 19th biggest recorded music market in 2017, according to the IFPI, generating $130.7m.
The market has been on Daniel Ek’s radar for a long time, telling investors as far back as March 2018 that: “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.”
In November, MBW revealed that Spotify hasn’t been licensed by Universal, Sony or Warner for India (yet).
That story followed various reports suggesting that the streaming company could officially launch in the market within six months.
At the time, a major label source told MBW: “We’re working on getting the deal done, but we’re not at the finish line yet. There was a lot of friction before, but it’s calming down now. There’s still some stuff to work out, especially our concerns around ARPU and the ad-funded tier.”
“Spotify could feasibly launch a pretty full catalog without one or even two of the majors on board.”
An MBW source, speaking in November
They added: “Some people here suspect that Spotify has leaked these stories about its upcoming India launch in an attempt to speed up our negotiations – but we’re moving at our own pace.”
The story published by Variety today suggests that Spotify could launch by the end of the month without all of those deals in place.
T-Series has a catalog of 160,000 songs, which means that Spotify could have enough content on its service to launch by January 31, a scenario which correlates with a suggestion made by another major label source in November.
“India is a market where the rights are so complex across many different labels,” they said.
“Spotify could feasibly launch a pretty full catalog without one or even two of the majors on board.”Music Business Worldwide