Spotify Expands Into New Markets
Music streaming service Spotify has recently announced its expansion into new markets. The Swedish start-up that has been around since 2008 now has over 24 million active users and more than 6 million paid subscribers. Now accessible in 28 countries, the service recently became available in 8 more countries including Mexico, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Iceland. According the BBC, key to this expansion will be further pushes in markets adopting digital music in greater numbers.
As an entrance into the Latin American market, Spotify has now launched in Mexico. In the Asian continent, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore have been introduced to the service. To strengthen its footing in Europe, the company has also launched in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Iceland. In addition to entering new markets, the company also recently announced venturing into streaming video and original content.
As reported on TechCrunch.com, Spotify’s head of new markets in Asia-Pacific, Sriram Krishnan, believes that the company’s size makes it more of a force to reckon with during negotiations with music executives. Krishan stated that over the past 4 years, Spotify has generated $500 million for the music industry and this year another $500 million will be given. With revenues reaching this scale he feels they are now taken seriously around the negotiation table. According to Tech Crunch, media providers have been nervous to enter some markets due to piracy concerns. Krishan acknowledged that although piracy is an issue in many countries, a premium service’s ability to offer a convenient way to get content without BitTorrenting a file would trump piracy.
Although the music streaming service has now made its entry into Latin America, according to Global Post, Brazil, is the biggest potential market for the company. As the largest economy in the region, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) reported that the country is seeing a considerable rise in smartphone sales and internet access. According to the BBC, although Brazil is assumed to have a large culture of pirating music, this assumption was disproved in 2011 when Apple received high sales volumes after its launch of iTunes in the country.
While Spotify is reportedly the leader in music streaming globally, analysts expect Apple to make its move soon. Reported by the BBC, it has not yet been confirmed but Apple is believed to have come to an agreement with several major music labels, such as Universal Music, to introduce a streaming service of their own. The service informally hailed as iRadio is expected to be available by the third quarter of this year. This should definitely cause some competition in music streaming and it will be interesting to see if Spotify’s much earlier entry will keep it on top.
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