Spotify in India: Everything You Need to Know
A guide on how to download the app, understanding the differences between Free and Premium, plus India-centric content
After several years of anticipation, Spotify has finally made its entry into India. The music streaming application was silently made available on iOS and Android last night as a free download before launching officially this morning. The platform went ahead with its launch despite the recent news of Warner Music Group suing it over licensing rights in India.
Spotify is available to download for free, or with an upgrade to Spotify Premium starting at INR 119 per month. The Spotify app is available on mobile, desktop and tablet and can be played on a wide range of speaker and home devices. For their India launch, the company rolled out a series of videos introducing the product as well as artist shout-outs to India from local as well as international acts across all genres like Armaan Malik, Katy Perry, Badshah, BTS, Neha Kakkar, Alan Walker, Ankur Tewari, Vishal-Shekhar, The Chainsmokers and Selena Gomez.
“As Spotify grows, our goal is to bring millions of artists and billions of fans together from every country and background ,” said Daniel Ek, Spotify founder and CEO in a statement. “India has an incredibly rich music culture and to best serve this market, we’re launching a custom-built experience. Not only will Spotify bring Indian artists to the world, we’ll also bring the world’s music to fans across India. Spotify’s music family just got a whole lot bigger.”
Spotify offers a library of over 40 million songs (although some artist’s most recent tracks are currently unavailable due to Warner Music Group’s tiff with the company) and can stream in users’ cars, on TVs, voice and wifi speakers. The app also features integrations with Google Maps, Tinder and Instagram. Spotify is available on over 500 products across 200 hardware brands globally.
To sign up for Spotify on desktop, head to their website and click on ‘get Spotify free.’ Once users go through the sign-up process, they will be shown a screen with options to choose Spotify Premium plans if they so wish. Subscription prices start at INR 119 per month and at INR 1,189 per year (which amounts to around INR 99 per month.) A variety of other subscription options include a one-week-long subscription at INR 39, a one-month-only subscription at INR 129, INR 389 for three months and INR 719 for six months.
Spotify also offers a student subscription with a 50 percent discount on the price. Students will need to upload school-issued documents to prove they are currently enrolled in college. The platform has yet to introduce a family plan (Apple Music is currently the only music streaming platform in India offering the option.) Since last night, Spotify has added the option to purchase Premium via debit card (an India-specific requirement we’ve previously seen users demand from Apple Music) but also features credit card and PayTM as options.
To install Spotify on a mobile device, users need to head to either the iOS App Store or Google Play Store on Android, download the app and create an account, or log in with an existing account. If users have already purchased Premium, the app will automatically reflect their Spotify Premium plan. Spotify does not offer in-app Premium purchases.
On Spotify Free, users can:
- Listen free on mobile, tablet and computer.
- Get personalised playlists and recommendations.
- Access on-demand Sptofy’s full catalogue across mobile, desktop and tablet.
- Access playlists from Spotify’s local music experts and worldwide community of music fans.
- Create playlists and share instantly with friends on Spotify, Facebook, Twitter, Line, WhatsApp, text and email.
- Activate background play.
With Spotify Premium, users get all the above features as well as:
- The ability to listen to their music offline.
- Ad free music on on computers, phones and tablets.
- High quality streaming (320kbps).
New users can get a feel of Spotify Premium via its 30-day trials.
Once users create an account, Spotify will ask them to select what kind of music and artists they enjoy listening to, so that it can recommend custom playlists they might enjoy. Indian users can also select their preferred language (from a choice that includes Hindi, English, Tamil, Punjabi, Telegu, Malayalam,Bengali and Kannada) to receive tailored Daily Mix, Home, Radio, Search results and recommendations.
The music available on Spotify India includes Indian popular and regional options like Bollywood, Tamil, Hindi, Punjabi, Telugu music and other general categories like pop, hip-hop, R&B, K-pop, metal, reggae and more. Tracks and artists are further divided into mood-based playlists like workout, summer, sleep, dinner, focus and others. The platform also features specific playlists created just for India, including Indiestan, Rap91, Namaste Love, Punjabi 101, Bollywood Butter, Top Hits in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Punjabi. These sit alongside their international playlists like Mint, Rap Caviar, Viva Latino and the This is… artist compilations. Spotify also offers podcasts, concert listings in each city, and radio stations for genres as well as individual artists.
Another India-specific introduction is a category titled Starring…, which is a series of playlists featuring the best music from the most popular Bollywood, Tollywood, Kollywood, and Punjabi actors. Spotify India also features city playlists with algorithms tracking what’s trending in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai. Also, for the first time ever on Spotify Free, smartphone users can play every song on demand.
“Indians love music. It’s an inherent part of our lifestyle and culture, whether we pray, work, or relax. The mobile internet revolution has led to a rapid rise in the number of connected Indians, making music streaming the preferred way to enjoy music here,” said Amarjit Singh Batra, Managing Director, Spotify India, in a statement. “Spotify pioneered music streaming a decade ago, and has constantly reinvented itself to bring the best music experience to the world, and now to India. Through our unmatched personalized experience, we want users to find the best music from India and the world, and empower Indian artists to find new audiences in India and worldwide.”
At first download, Spotify is smooth and sleek with an easy-to-use, simple and colorful interface. The main homepage displays a selection of popular and trending tracks, new releases, recommended artists and tracks based on your music taste, as well as Spotify editors’ picks. The lack of several thousand tracks from artists like Bruno Mars, EXO, Cardi B, Katy Perry, Led Zepplin and more due to the current court case with Warner Music Group is a major hindrance, but hopefully something Spotify will be able to resolve in the coming months.