Spotify finally comes to India after legal battle

Feb 28, 2019 | E-commerce and E-retailing, India, Online advertising, Online video

Spotify has launched in India after a years delay over legal issues.

Indian users can now download the Spotify app and access more than 40 million songs, according to the streaming company.

The firm said playlists will be curated by Indian music experts, while “city playlists” will use algorithms to spot trends in the country’s main cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore.

Spotify Premium, its ad-free subscription service, will cost 119 rupees ($1.65) per month, a fraction of its $9.99 price in the US.

The company is going after a big portion of India’s half a billion internet users. A recent boom in sales of smartphones and cheap mobile data plans.

The launch ran into a legal hurdle earlier this week when Warner Music Group (WMG) filed an injunction on Monday to prevent Spotify (SPOT) from using its artists’ songs.

A Spotify spokeswoman told CNN Business that the company went ahead with the launch without WMG content while the court battle continues.

“We’re hopeful for a negotiated solution with Warner,” she said.

WMG didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this month Spotify posted its first quarterly profit, and said operating income, net income, and free cash flow were all positive for the first time.

Spotify also has plans to move beyond music into the growing podcast market.

It bought Gimlet Media, the company behind a string of popular podcasts including Reply All, and podcast publishing platform Anchor.

It has pledged to spend up to $500m this year on further podcast-related acquisitions.

Spotify, which was first launched in 2008, is available in 79 markets and has 207 million active users.

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