It was this time last year when the world’s most popular music streaming service Spotify launched in India. It was a much-awaited arrival, safe to say. Not that we in India did not have access to high quality music streaming services already, because we did with the likes of Apple Music, JioSaavn, Amazon Prime Music, Airtel Wynk Music and more. But Spotify has a bit of a cult following globally, and a localized flavor of the same service was what we needed. And here we are, one year later, and the data that Spotify has had to share does throw up some interesting trends.
Spotify says that their app is being used to stream music in as many as 2300 cities across India. What perhaps stands out is the user demographic—Spotify says India has a higher than average percentage of users of up to 24 years of age, compared to other Spotify markets. The detailed language and music preferences data for India indicates that in Goa, Spotify users only listen to international music. That is not to say Spotify doesn’t have Indian music content—in fact, there are now more than 6,400 Indian artists on Spotify For Artists, of which almost 5000 were added in the last one year and the streaming service now has more than 350 local and curated playlists for India, up from 120 almost a year ago.
Spotify data suggests that users in West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Assam, Bihar, and Sikkim listen to “mushy” music—the Bollywood Mush playlist features in the Top 3 in all these states. “Seems like love rises in the east,” says Spotify. In Gujarat, Spotify users listen to sentimental love songs while users in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chandigarh and Telangana prefer listening to local music. This is quite surprising though—Korean music is constant in the top 3 languages that are popular with users in the states of Arunachal, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura.
You would expect Punjabi music would be popular in Punjab and Chandigarh regions. Perhaps even Delhi. But Spotify data insists that Assam is the state where Punjabi music features in the top 3 most popular music.
Spotify says Gen Z and Millennials (the definitions for both are not exactly clear at this time—the world awaits an intervention) stick to film music, international pop, and Punjabi non-film music, it’s the user base between the ages of 35-44 years who prefer to listen to more local music.
It turns out that the slightly older folks among the Spotify user demographic do have a cool taste in music. Spotify’s data points to Señorita by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello as the most streamed track across the country for the 55+ age group.
Specifics now. The most streamed artists on Spotify in India are Arijit Singh, Tanishk Bagchi, Neha Kakkar, Badshah and Shreya Ghoshal. The most popular Spotify curated playlists in India are Today’s Top Hits, Bollywood Mush, All Out 10s, Top Hindi Hits and New Music Hindi.
Spotify is the most popular global audio streaming subscription service with as many as 271 million users, of which 124 million are paid subscribers for the Premium tier that removes all advertisements from the music and podcast playback experience. In India, Spotify is priced at Rs 119 per month for the Premium subscription. You can also choose the shorter duration packs—one day for Rs 13 or 7 days for Rs 39. There are longer term subscription options too—3 months for Rs 389, 6 months for Rs 719 and 1 year for Rs 1189. You can alternatively stick with the free subscription tier, which will be supported with occasional advertisements injected into the music playback. Spotify’s competition on our shores comes from Apple Music, Amazon Prime Music, YouTube Music which is succeeding Google Play Music as well as a bunch of Indian services including JioSaavn, Gaana and Airtel’s Wynk Music.