Swedish audio streaming service Spotify said India is showing strong signs of growth as one of the platform’s key emerging markets, where it claimed leadership in engagement and podcast content.
“We are now the clear number one music streaming service in India, judging by engagement. As engagement grows, our playbook momentum continues to increase. With the explosive growth in brand awareness, we are also on our way to being the market leader in podcasts,” said Alex Norström, chief freemium business officer at Spotify, speaking during the company’s Investor Day presentation earlier this week. The company said that one out of every four music listeners on Spotify in India also listens to podcasts.
“When Spotify debuted publicly, we were available in 65 markets around the world. In just four years, we’ve almost tripled that number to 183 markets and territories. And this includes some of the biggest and most exciting audio markets in the world like India and South Korea and the entire continent of Africa,” Spotify founder and chief executive officer Daniel Ek said at the Investor Day presentation.
Globally, Spotify aims to double its reach to 1 billion users by 2030, with exponential growth potential seen in podcast advertising, given the rise in the time users spend on and off the platform and its ability to monetize an increasing portion of that time. Currently, Spotify monetizes 14% of all podcast listening hours on the platform.
Mint had earlier reported that Spotify is streamed in more than 7,000 cities and towns in India and had clocked double-digit growth in monthly active users last year. The country is also one of the top 20 markets for user-created playlists on the platform. The service has 150 plus original and exclusive podcasts in Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Bengali, Telugu, Punjabi, English, Gujarati, Malayalam, and Marathi. Podcasts created on Anchor, the podcast creation tool hosted on Spotify, grew 130 times from the start of 2020 till the end of 2021. Further, most of Spotify’s listeners in India are Gen Z (born between the mid to late 1990s and 2010s), who consume music and podcasts with equal interest. In fact, a majority of the podcasts shared from Spotify on social media are by Gen Z. As per the FICCI-EY media and entertainment report 2022, the Indian music segment grew by 24% to reach ₹1,870 crore in 2021.
90% of the revenues were earned through digital means, though most of it was advertising-led, with only 3 million paying subscribers. Indians spent an average of 21.9 hours per week listening to music, which is higher than the global average of 18.4 hours per week. India’s audio streaming market is dominated by Gaana, the streaming service owned by Times Internet Ltd, with a 30% share, followed by JioSaavn (24%), Wynk Music (15%), spotify (15%), Google Play Music (10%), and others (7%), according to a study by Kantar and audience measurement and analytics company VTION in January 2020.