It is January 31 and Spotify has still not launched in India Heres what happenedHARDWARE NETWORKING LINUX SOFTWAREIt Tech Technology

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Thursday, January 31, 2019

It is January 31 and Spotify has still not launched in India Heres what happened

It is finally January 31, but it appears that there is still no Spotify service available for Indian customers. A quick visit to the company’s website reveals the message “Spotify is currently not available in your country” in big, bold letters. The last few days, Spotify’s January 31 launch date has been dominating the news cycle, but unfortunately, Indians continue to be left out of the service’s coverage. There were always signs that the January 31 deadline may not be met, but let’s examine what has happened in the last few days, which is bound to paint a clearer picture of the service’s launch status. The T-Series Deal Probably the first and the biggest clue to an impending launch of Spotify in India was the company signing a licensing deal with T-Series. The deal was to add T-series’ portfolio to Spotify’s streaming platform, at a global level. T-Series has the largest library of Bollywood songs and without access to T-Series’ library, Spotify would not have a relevant enough collection of songs to offer in India. The news of the deal signing broke on January 14. The Variety Piece The American magazine Variety published an article on their website stating that Spotify was preparing to launch the service in India on January 31. This was the first time a date was put to the recent round of rumours surrounding the Spotify launch in India. Their source claimed that the company was planning to host a party on January 31 in Mumbai, possibly to celebrate the launch. This story broke on January 15, U.S time. The New Terms and Condition An eagle-eyed internet citizen was quick to point out that the terms and conditions page had been updated, but more importantly, carried a message stating, “Effective as of January 31, 2019.” This added more credibility to the rumours of the service’s launch on 31 January. This news broke on January 21. The Hiring spree Over the last few months, Spotify has been aggressively expanding its Indian workforce. After having established an office in Mumbai, Spotify now allegedly has a team of 300 strong, including people for handling their communications. You don’t do this unless you’re planning to launch. The close proximity of the above three events probably added a lot of credibility to the January 31 launch date, but what was ignored were the various red flags that existed, which were likely to delay the launch. Here’s what was missed Pending Deals While Spotify had signed up with T-Series, it was yet to announce deals with Sony, Universal and Warner, three of the biggest music labels, to bring their music library to India. Additionally, for the service to be successful, it also needs to offer music in other regional languages such as Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and even Punjabi. Deals with their respective labels are yet to be announced. Terms of the Trial Period For India, Spotify is allegedly going to offer a trial period of longer than 30 days for its users in India. Spotify had done the same for users in Vietnam and South Africa when they launched the service in those respective countries last year, but according to the Variety piece, there is a hold-up here. For the duration of the trial period, Spotify has allegedly offered to pay a royalty amount that is far lower than what other Indian streaming services pay. If negotiations are still on-going, there is no way Spotify would be able to launch. Spotify has a lot of eager fans awaiting its launch in the country. The company has to ensure that they have every single aspect of the service covered for Indian relevance. This means not just the right music portfolio, but also the right pricing. Not to mention, the service needs to ensure they’re able to stream over India’s mobile network, which is considerably slower than other countries. Sure, it is disappointing that Spotify hasn’t launched today, but then again, the company never said they would. For now, let us just patiently wait for the company to make an official announcement.

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