Spotify unwrapped: How audio giant’s India playbook is changing


Soumya Gupta

35 reads

Soumya Gupta

35 reads

Music streaming subscriptions are a small market in India and will remain so, given that price is the top consideration for most listeners. That realisation is prompting Spotify to pay greater attention to other audio formats and advertisements

December 12, 2022


When Spotify brought its music streaming app to India in February 2019, it teased the price-sensitive market with tiny subscription plans lasting for a day or a week. It was a classic launch hook: give users a taste of the ad-free and premium listening experience at bargain rates and win buy-in for the long term.

Internet businesses often phase out such offers once sign-ups surge. But nearly four years after its arrival, the Swedish audio giant still banks on these packages, now called ‘Premium Mini’, to draw paying members. That sums up the difficulties in the domestic market.

Just 1.5% of online Indian listeners pay for a music service, as per FICCI-EY’s estimates. In another year’s time, by 2024, this base is expected to be 1.7%, a marginal rise. While Spotify’s numbers in the country are thought to be higher than the industry average, it’s evident that making money from subscriptions is going to be a slow trudge.

For faster growth, the company will have to lean more on ad-supported audio streaming (tunes and podcasts). JioSaavn and Airtel’s Wynk dominate this segment, and the dilemma before Spotify is how it should compete without diluting its identity as an exclusive brand aimed at mainly city folks.

For subscribers only

Premium Reads


View More >>

Deeply reported and objective news on the country´s fastest-growing companies and the people behind them.