A ROUND BLACK THIN disc with circular grooves was avant-garde in the 1940s. Placed on a bulky instrument called the phonograph, it would magically play music for a few swaying generations. Vinyl records were trendy then. Today, they’re quaint at best. And archaic, in truth. Over the last few decades, technology has changed all aspects of the music industry, including how people listen to it. You hardly play music anymore, for instance. You stream it. At the forefront of this streaming revolution is a Swedish company you know of as Spotify.
Since it was set up in 2006 by entrepreneurs Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon to combat the growing problem of piracy in the music industry, it has grown to become the leading player in the global streaming industry, with 345 million users and 155 million paying subscribers across 178 markets.
In the Indian market, too, which has around 10 players, Spotify has managed to hold the third spot behind Gaana and JioSaavn, according to a Kantar-Vtion study. What is more remarkable is that it has achieved this in just two years. In fact, by the time Spotify entered the country in February 2019, Indians had already warmed up to music streaming services like JioSaavn, Wynk, and Gaana. But the late entry has proved to be “more of a boon”, says Spotify’s India MD Amarjit Singh Batra. “I would call it the late mover advantage because we’ve been able to see what’s working and what’s not,” he points out. “We’ve learnt that what we thought was a mature market... is not yet mature enough. We’re educating people about streaming and that is something nobody invested enough in while the market was expanding.”
The “homework” the company had done before launching in India has paid off. As Gustav Gyllenhammar, vice president, markets and subscriber growth at Spotify Worldwide, puts it: “We knew that we needed to provide something differentiated and really tailored to the market in order to win. There were already a lot of local as well as global players but we needed to provide something that was more global than the local players as well as more local than the global players.”
So as with all the other markets that it operates in—including the 80 new markets it plans to enter this year—Spotify put localisation at the core of its strategy to make headway in a short span of time. Consider that of the 36 new languages that it recently launched in, 12 are Indian. These are Hindi, Gujarati, Bhojpuri, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, and Bengali.
The proof of success is in the numbers. In its latest letter to shareholders, Spotify said, “In Q4, we added 25 million MAUs (monthly active users) and benefited from faster growth in India, the U.S., and Western Europe, with India serving as a notable source of upside vs. our forecast, driven by successful marketing campaigns.”
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
INDIA'S LARGEST VERTICALLY INTEGRATED TEXTILE MANUFACTURER
Ms Suchita Oswal Jain, the Vice-Chairman and Joint Managing Director of Vardhman Textiles is a third-generation entrepreneur and an able custodian of the family business.
That Dark Summer Again
After a stellar earnings season in Q4 of FY21, India’s growth engine seems to have lost its steam in the June quarter because of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
FOCUSED DIGITAL-SAVVY MOVES
In an exclusive interview, Arjun Jain, Business Head, Varroc Electricals & Electronics, shares his views on the influences of the pandemic and changing trends on the automotive component industry and the role of SAP as a digital enabler in his businesses
The Shopkeeper's Best Friend
BharatPe has the shopkeeper at the centre of its fintech universe. This has paid rich dividends, with more than 6 million merchant partners and loans worth ₹1,600 crore in less than three years. All thanks to QR codes.
Meesho Must Go On
Meesho pioneered the social commerce trend in India six years ago, providing a source of income for millions of homemakers. Its future is riddled with competition from fellow startups and e-commerce behemoths. The good news is the market is vast.
The Conversation RONNIE SCREWVALA
Ronnie Screwvala, 64, serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, and author, has commissioned a telling new report titled ‘Non-linear Thinking’, 1 which he puts forward as an alternative line of thought to propel India to its true potential. Non-linear thinking assumes a higher level of risk than normal, where past experiences do not define future ones. Screwvala, who co-founded upGrad, South Asia’s largest higher edtech company, explains the report’s thesis in detail.
FabAlley was quick to adapt to the ‘keyboard up’ dressing trends last year as work-from-home became the norm. It is now doubling down on its online presence and partnerships with major online retailers abroad, setting it up to be the go-to destination for millennial women everywhere.
FORMER McDONALD’S CEO STEVE EASTERBROOK SUPERSIZED THE COMPANY’S PERFORMANCE—UNTIL HE WAS FIRED AMID A SCANDAL. NOW HIS SUCCESSOR, CHRIS KEMPCZINSKI, MUST PERSUADE THE COMPANY’S MANY STAKEHOLDERS TO REUNITE.
Asset Light, People Right
Healthcare startup Pristyn Care’s OYO-like business model and impeccable service have attracted both investors and patients alike. But the model and the promise will be tested as the number of surgeries increase.
40 Under 40 2021
Fortune India’s 40 under 40 list is an annual listing highlighting the inspirational work done by some of the country’s best and sharpest young entrepreneurs, fund managers, and corporate executives. But choosing a handful from hundreds of names is a tough ask, and we sought the inputs of an expert panel who helped us in the process of selecting the final 40. Let’s hear it for the unflinching spirit of our young achievers in these difficult times.
Sometimes, an idea needs time to incubate until it’s ready to grow. That was the case with Sujata Massey’s series about Perveen Mistry, a woman attorney practicing in India during the 1920s.
THIRTEEN FASCINATING 4X4S from the2020 Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals
Recap of the 39th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals
Klara Landrat & Her Journey with Endometriosis
Klara Landrat is an American-Israeli actress of Polish origin, producer, a writer known for her talent worldwide. She is starring in the Irish TV series – “Gods & Fighting Men” due for release in 2021.
HER MAJESTY PEDDLING HOMEMADE HOOCH!
QUEEN ELIZABETH looks like a dowdy, straitlaced granny, but she’s turned into a heck of a bartender — serving up her own brands of homemade hooch!
The Winter of Discontent
Even though america is preparing for a summer reopening, the Coronavirus will still be around to dog us when the temperatures fall.
India thought it had the virus beat. The virus had other ideas
Governments around the world keep repeating the same mistakes. In a country of 1.4 billion, the consequences are on a whole new scale
Reincarnation And Realpolitik
China, India, and the U.S. are vying to influence the selection of the next Dalai Lama
An Exclusive Interview With Nandakumar Narasimhan
The Little Red Train
A Room for Dad
Before Mom passed, I made a promise to her