The Indian market is one of the fastest growing markets for smartphones, internet users, and other electronic devices. The challenge for device makers and services is that the country is extremely price conscious as many in the nation have lower incomes. A low cost strategy is in part why budget smartphone maker OnePlus was able to beat out smartphone juggernauts Apple and Samsung in the Indian market. Music streaming service Spotify has now launched in India, and the launch brings with it the cheapest pricing for the premium tier that Spotify has ever offered.
Spotify's monthly premium tier starts at Rs 119, which works out to about $1.67. To compare the U.S. price for the premium tier is $9.99 while pricing in the U.K. equates to about $13.25 Stateside. Spotify also announced something that will make free-tier users in other markets very jealous. In India, Spotify Free will allow users to listen to any song on demand.
In other markets, Spotify Free only offers access to a limited set of playlists. Spotify's free and low-cost premium offerings highlight the challenges in the Indian market where many consumers aren't willing to pay for premium services, and a large portion of the population can't afford paid services. Spotify competitors also charge comparatively small amounts for their services in India.
Apple Music, for instance, charges $1.69 per month but has no free tier offering. Spotify is offering a 30-day free trial in India and the free tier service, something Apple Music lacks, with access to any song could give it an advantage in the marketplace. Spotify has had trouble launching its service in India; reports indicate that Warner Music tried to get the Bombay High Court to issue an injunction to stop Spotify from launching. The streaming service has deals in place with most local and international labels, and the service launched with 40 million songs available for streaming in the country.