Spotify said to have secured deals with major music holders in India, to launch service in Q1 2019

Spotify said to have secured deals with major music holders in India over the past few months. This clears the way for the company to enter the country finally after a long wait. Spotify Technology SA is preparing to introduce its service as soon as the first quarter of 2019, according to sources.

This expansion, however, is a test for Spotify’s ability on how it can lure customers. Though Spotify is the largest paid streaming service globally, it is mostly limited to three regions; North America, Latin America, and Europe. These markets account for less than a third of the world’s population and also contribute to more than 90% of Spotify’s paying customers.

Spotify has over 8 million subscribers in the “rest of world” markets at the end of September. India may help change that. Spotify itself has told partners that it plans to launch in India in the first quarter of 2019. Furthermore, the company has been laying the groundwork in India for some time and the company even hired a head of communications in the country and poached an executive from a rival service earlier this year.

Bhushan Kumar, the managing director of record label T-Series, confirmed that his company is working with Spotify. “Our deal with them is on,” he said in an interview. T-Series also owns the most-watched YouTube channel in the world.

Spotify is stepping up its international expansion and just introduced its streaming service to 13 territories in the Middle East and North Africa. Spotify plans to rely on its free service to lure new customers and then convert them to paid subscriptions, a strategy that has worked in other markets. “India specifically is a very fragmented marketplace with lots of different local labels, lots of different local publishers,” Spotify Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ek told analysts in November.