Spotify in India


(29.8.2019 – Idea Blog)




Earlier in 2019, Spotify entered India and has started to disrupt the audio content market.


Before Spotify came to India there was already a thriving music scene in India covering all genres, including ‘Desi’ Rap and Hip Hop (as shown in the hit Bollywood film ‘Gully Boy’), with local platforms for music streaming such a Gaana and Jio Saavn.


Spotify’s entry into India has increased the competition amongst audio platforms used by DJs and musicians. Artists now have more options to share their content. Online radio stations now have a wider audience for their radio shows and are attracting new DJs … and podcasters.


The DJ scene in India is exploding with huge domestic talent and the best of foreign talent touring the country. India’s online music consumption has been high but now alternate audio content is gaining ground via podcasts. Platforms like Spotify are not just for DJs, musicians and music but for a whole lot more.


A simple search on Spotify for Indian podcast content already gives huge amounts of varied content for all types of subjects with travel, food, cricket, Bollywood as some of the more popular topics. Audio content is a fast-growing segment and content creators have plenty of opportunities to show off their work.


Apart from music and films, other digital content in local Indian languages still has a long way to go to catch up with English language content. Bollywood and others like Tollywood (Tamil Nadu film industry) still produce huge numbers of films and songs which are streamed on TV and mobile and probably accounts for the majority of data consumption.


E-learning is another area where audio and visual content is growing. Apart from the e-learning firms, platforms like Spotify offer individual podcasters space to grow.


This space has created opportunity for content creators in both English and local languages to produce and promote content on social media, thereby boosting the growth of podcasts.


Podcasts are easy and convenient to consume (as you don’t need to have the screen in front of you) and the playlist facility, that you find on platforms like Spotify and SoundCloud, helps consumers even further. With people looking to create and promote their content on social media, podcasts and platforms such as Spotify offer podcasters a springboard into huge markets like India.


Audio content, including audio books, are well established in markets like the US. The Indian market is now gearing up and will provide influencers, artists and marketers lots of possibilities to promote their brands via audio content.  Brands must take a very serious look at creating podcasts/audio content that give value to the consumer – this is a relatively untapped market in India, so far.


Just like eBooks, podcasts also have huge upside potential and opportunity for content creators and consumers in India.  With the growth in smartphones (and smart feature phones) and Internet accessibility with more affordable data plans (due mainly to the entry of Reliance Jio mobile network), the consumption of audio content on mobile devices will multiply giving a huge boost to online content. Spotify are well placed to take a lead as they are more suited to mobile devices.


Also, Reliance Jio are pushing the fibre-optic cable services across India which will only increase Internet penetration into smaller towns. To add to this, the Indian government is pushing digital payments to villages to increase financial services for those in rural areas and this means Internet penetration via mobile will increase to reach the ‘Next Billion’ – creating massive opportunity. Video streaming via mobile is increasing year-on-year in India and podcast content will not be far behind. The Indian Government’s ‘Digital India’ programme is slowly becoming a reality.


Spotify has entered India at the right time when there are a number of factors, all combining to create an environment that is just so good for digital content – visual … and audio. This is the right time for content creators around the world to market to the Indian audience.


So, start creating your podcasts now!  Podcasts are the way to go.


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