Spotify, the world’s biggest music streaming service, has been preparing for international expansion with an eye on India’s huge market for quite a while now. Most recent reports suggest that the company might have cleared the ground, inking an agreement with India’s largest record label T-Series.
The agreement is being seen as a precursor to the Sweden-based company’s India entry. Spotify customers have now access to the entire catalog of T-series including Bollywood and regional movie soundtracks, as well as non-film albums and emerging artist content.
In total, the catalog boasts more than 160,000 songs, and they’re available to stream around the world starting today, thanks to the official partnership. T-series is also one of the world’s most viewed YouTube channel, with videos that have been viewed more than 58 billion times and more than 80 million subscribers since its launch in 2006.
According to Spotify, more than 4 million users from around the globe regularly tune in to Indian music content on the service. Even in Pakistan, where Spotify isn’t still officially available, there is a huge market for Indian songs. Saavn, a direct competitor to Spotify once it launches in India, has been providing its services in Pakistan since its launch and is one of the most used streaming services in both India and Pakistan.
Spotify has been eyeing the Indian market for a while now. In June 2018, it rolled out an Indian music hub, “Desi”- which houses numerous playlists covering Bollywood, bhangra classics, sitar music, and hip-hop, among other genres. The flagship Desi Hits playlist has more than 217,000 followers to date.
Ahead of Spotify’s entry into one of the fastest growing music markets in the world right now Paul Smith, director, head of International Licensing at Spotify said, “Today’s deal with T-Series significantly strengthens our Indian music catalog, bringing Bollywood to more than 200 Million Spotify users worldwide.”
While this move further cements Spotify’s plans for an imminent launch in India, there hasn’t been any concrete news about whether or not Spotify will be launching in Pakistan too. Considering the fact that T-Series’s partnership with Spotify is for a global license, it makes sense for Spotify to tap the considerable Pakistani market too for their expansion plans. However, without any official word from Spotify regarding the availability of its services in Pakistan, we have to assume that currently, the streaming service is not planning a simultaneous launch in both Pakistan and India.