Spotify has today launched in Japan – the world’s second-biggest recorded music marketplace – on an invite-only basis.
The news is significant for a number of reasons – not least Spotify’s claim to be the first music service in the region to offer both a free and ‘fully-featured’ subscription service.
According to MBW analysis of RIAJ stats, Japan’s total audio recorded music market was worth 113.45bn Yen ($1.12bn) in the first six months of this year.
Of that figure, 25.66bn Yen ($254m) or 22.6%, was made up of digital revenues.
Subscription streaming generated just 9.34bn Yen ($92.5m), only worth 8.2% of total revenues – but was up 85% year-on-year.
We’ll have to wait and see how Spotify changes that.
The company has appointed Ichiro Tamaki, formerly Vice President of Amazon Devices and Kindle Content, Japan, as Spotify’s General Manager, Japan.
Ichiro will be based in Tokyo and lead the day-to-day running of Spotify Japan, effective as of October 1st.
Hannes Graah, currently Spotify’s Managing Director, Japan, will take on a new company role as Global Head of New Markets.
Spotify’s Premium tier will launch in Japan for 980 Yen a month – which currently exchanges at $9.70.
That’s a price point which is very similar to Spotify in Western Europe and the US, indicating that the service is maximising the Average Revenue Per User is can obtain from Japan.
Japanese subscribers have a range of ways to pay including credit card, carrier billing, in-store and online bank payment.
“We’re incredibly excited to launch Spotify with a uniquely Japanese music experience,” says Daniel Ek, Spotify’s CEO and Founder.
“With Spotify’s revolutionary discovery and personalisation features that fit your every mood, we aim to help people enjoy more music and connect more artists with fans than ever before.”
Following the Japan launch, Spotify will be available in 60 markets worldwide.Music Business Worldwide