It’s official, Spotify is now available in India!
While Spotify is free to use as a streaming music service, it’s an ad-supported service that restricts the quality of the music. It also places restrictions on how you listen to music. To take full advantage of Spotify, you need a Premium subscription, which offers features like the ability to download music, no ads, unlimited skips and more. The pricing tiers for this service in India are as follows:
- One day: Rs 13
- Seven days: Rs 39
- One month: Rs 129
- Three months: Rs 389
- Six months: Rs 719
- One year: Rs 1,189
Students get a 50 percent discount on a monthly subscription. You also get a month of Premium for free and the fee for the month after the trial is Rs 119.
All things considered, these prices are competitive with music streaming services in India, including Apple Music.
In a market flooded with music streaming services like Amazon Prime Music, JioMusic, Gaana, Apple Music and more, Spotify could stand out for its rock-solid recommendation engine and track selection, which are its key strengths in foreign markets. The interface is also friendlier than that of many other services. Spotify also integrates support for podcasts. Hopefully, it can emulate that same experience in India.
Speaking of track selection, Spotify is in a bit of a legal pickle as it is currently being sued by Warner Music Group. The group, which comprises artists like Ed Sheeran, Madonna, Led Zeppelin, asked an Indian court to block Spotify from streaming songs from artists on the group’s roster.
According to Bloomberg’s report on the matter, Spotify doesn’t actually have a license to stream Warner Group’s music, but intends to do so anyway by taking advantage of an ancient (relatively speaking) Indian law that lets broadcasters (like FM radio services) to license copyrighted content without the consent of the original copyright holder.
A report in The Verge indicates that while Spotify is taking advantage of the law, it has launched in India without the Warner catalogue. If Spotify streams music from the catalogue, it will have to track usage and calculate royalties for Warner Music Group and potentially pay the group once the court case is resolved.
How to use Spotify in India
Whether you’re on iOS or Android, simply head to your respective app store and download the app. The installation is straightforward and you’ll be asked to sign up to the service. You can sign up using Facebook (Tech2 suggests you don’t!) and via email.
Android users can subscribe to Spotify Premium via their phones, but iOS users will need to use the Spotify website to sign in and subscribe to the service. Spotify, like Netflix, is trying to wean iOS users away from App Store-based payments over royalty issues.
Android users can simply pay via Visa, MasterCard or Bhim/UPI. Website users are limited to Visa and Mastercard for now.