Their music collection is one of the worst among all services present in India. Lots of major international records are not available. Regional music collection is not good. Only the mainstream/popular content is available.
Bought the premium subscription on very first day of launch. Tried using it for few days. Found major stuff missing.
Cancelled and got the refund. Kudos to them for prompt service on this.
But very bad in comparison to Apple Music and other Indian services.
Apple Music costs similar for individual account and much cheaper with a family account, has much better International and Indian collection and really good playlists collections, at least in India.
I try to avoid getting sucked into Google's Ecosystem, but GAMA is pretty damn good. Sadly I don't know what the situation for GAMA looks like outside of the USA.
But my point is, I hated Spotify, I still found myself forced to "acquire" music. This is the digital age, sell me digital music I fully own. People who don't want to pay for music will not pay for it no matter what you do. At least with Google when I buy music I can sync it to my local machine, but with GAMA I don't have to. The other upside is I get no ads on YouTube since I got grandfathered into YouTube Premium. Yes, I know, AdBlock, but I got grandfathered in to no ads, why would I care about AdBlock?
No, Google Play Music (All Access or otherwise) is not the same thing as YouTube Music, though there have been reports and indications that YT Music may be planned to eventually replace GPM.
I still buy movies, and I have a fair bit of purchased music from before the subscription, so I'll be more than annoyed if I end up with my media library sitting in YouTube Red if they try to converge the products. Spotify would be high on a short list of alternatives if that happens.
Replacing GPM with YTMusic, unless the latter is updated to support everything, including personal music import and export, that the former does would be shady.
Giving me free YT Premium along with the GPM All Access I was already paying for at no additional cost is not, however, shady.
From what I understand, digital downloads from iTunes and the likes are basically just a perpetual license?
It won’t get you new stuff, but if you’re trying to fill your back catalog in, you can’t beat the price of goodwill.
nitpick, but it's “Google Play Music All Access”
1 million people using Spotify and wasting data pack to brag to their friends? Seriously?
These days, data limit is nothing to worry about in India.
BTW, only senders are charged for SMS in India, not receivers, unlike American carriers.
American Internet and communications service providers need some serious competition.
By the way, In India most plans have some quota for free sms, which almost always go unused. Anyone who uses whatsapp doesn't even bother about sms.
In the US both senders and receivers are charged, generally. Each party pays their provider for the service of carrying messages from and to them across that provider's network.
Note that this makes each party responsible for the part of the complete message transport that they have some control over, and only that part.
So, for example, if you send me a message today, and another message tomorrow, you will pay the same amount both times even if today I'm at home and tomorrow I'm traveling to some remote area where message fees are much higher. I'm the one who pays the higher costs that are incurred due to my travel.
How would this be handled in a place where the sender pays for the whole thing? How do you find out how much it will cost you to send me a message?
For calls, though, the caller pays local rates, but you will pay your share of the roaming charges. Some carriers on pre-paid plans charge you a national long distance fee per call too.
even companies are using whatsapp for notifications.
Now for a nation that is still building itself up, the labor cost is lower and you can simply take the know-hows and older hardwares from the innovators, which significantly cuts down on cost of implementation. Adding that to the economies of scale you can get at 1b+ in population and things can look obscenely cheap.
Of course, that doesn't mean that the businesses you get services from don't abuse of an oligopoly environments and other practices
What the heck, that's a thing in the US? How is that even legal
This is probably applicable to other developing countries, definitely not to India. Man, data is so cheap, 4G is widespread even in tier 2 cities. Am not sure about tier 3 towns and villages but so far, I am hard pressed to find large tracts of dead zones.
(96 / 8) * 3600 * 24 / (1024 * 1024) = 0.99GB
This is based on 2016 rates. https://www.indexmundi.com/facts/india/ppp-conversion-factor
Now let's try this same calculation with the US. US median per capita income is about $32,000 or $16/hr. The T-Mobile One plan is currently listed on their website at $70 for a single line. That's 4.3 hours.
This is obviously a GROSS estimate, but it appears an Indian worker has to work approximately 1.39x the amount of hours a median American worker has to work for a "good" cell phone plan. You can get much cheaper pay as you go plans, but I wanted to use "mainstream" as much as possible.
For about 30 USD, I can buy vegetables (excluding groceries) for the family of 2 for a month. Milk is about .75 USD per liter.
300-400 USD per month is the rent for 3 BHK apartment in good location. (I pay 220 USD for 2 BHK).
For cable tv subscription, I pay around 5 USD.
I'm in Indonesia currently and I pay ~$13 USD for 25GB of data.
$2 USD for 45GB monthly
$0.07 USD for 1.5GB/daily
It's evident you don't know India... Most young people in India have dozens of pictures on Facebook of themselves pretending to talk on their mobiles with seemingly expensive sunglasses on. It's like their own particular ice bucket challenge.
No need for any special drivers, or any special support on the part of music player apps. As long as whatever the player is running on knows how to use USB speakers, I can get the sound to end up at my A/V receiver.
I don't know why this approach was not more popular.
And personally I'm not happy with the selection of Apple Music from my country (Romania). Not only that but their radio recommendations are absolutely shit. All music streaming services actually pale in comparison with YouTube in terms of availability and even recommendations.
The only problem with YouTube is that the Premium service is only available in a few select countries. If only Google could pull its head out of its ass and give customers that want to pay money a way to do so.
What Spotify has going for it is integration with most devices you care about. Can you stream Apple Music on your Playstation? No you can't. Their apps also have an obvious feature that's sorely missing from alternatives: the ability to remotely control a device, or to painlessly switch devices and pick up where you left off. Spotify are also the only ones with a usable Linux client, with all the others you have to settle for the web interface, which sorely lacks integration with the keyboard's playback buttons.
And their selection has been improving. This reminds me of when Netflix came to Romania in 2016, their selection was shit and they didn't even have subtitles. Nowadays Netflix is widely popular and has really good shows (compared with the established alternatives).
That said nowadays I seem to get along better with Deezer (https://deezer.com), as their automated recommendations seem to work better. And btw, I tried most streaming services available, even local ones (e.g. Zonga.ro) and Apple Music is the last one I'd pick.
> Pretty sure a high percentage of these listeners have downloaded and tried the free tier.
Because most of us aren't really using it, are we?
I installed the app. Bought premium. Cancelled it. Uninstalled the app.
All in a matter of few days.
All the above currently have more songs (except Prime) on them than Spotify in India does.
And it's amazing to see Spotify grow so quickly. Almost all of the people I know (I'm guilty of the same) used a US free-tier account, and sideloaded modded applications to listen to Spotify. I used to think that was piracy as usual, but now all of us are on 1-year subscriptions. The price sensitivity ($9.99/month in US vs $1.68/month in India) does obviously make a difference.
Or merely a circle of friends totally unrepresentative of mainstream Indian tastes?
OP, mainstream music is just that, mainstream, it's watered down precisely because most people like watered down music ;)
Spotify's not the only competing service that has almost everything. Tidal, Google Play Music, Apple Music, they've all managed to get a deal with those publishers. Smaller players like Deezer even manage to offer the same service to 180+ countries (compared to Spotify's 20).
Netflix and others would also have nearly everything if the majority of the movies was produced by three publishers.
If (i) you have mainstream taste and (ii) you're not in a market with a substantial domestic recorded music market like, oh I don't know, India, where the majors hold a minority of what people like to listen to.
Netflix realised quite rapidly that it was a fools errand to try to have everything.
Given the choice between paying top dollar for every blockbuster film (which engage people for two hours at a time), Netflix invested in TV series and producing its own material, which works out cheaper and keeps people watching for much much longer. Netflix's movie catalogue has shrunk since 2010 (mostly due to Epix moving its films over to Hulu), but the TV inventory has tripled.
Netflix also benefits from TV/movies being more fungible, and with a better long tail than music. If Netflix doesn't have a TV show or movie, you'll likely find something else you want to watch. If Spotify doesn't have Taylor Swift, it doesn't have Taylor Swift.
Funny, I would make the exact opposite argument. I can 'put up with' a lot of different music in the right general genre I'm in the mood for while doing other stuff (and if one song doesn't take my fancy I can either just skip it or wait 3 minutes for the next song), but if I'm going to invest 2-10 hours of focused attention on a TV show/movie then it better be what I actually want.
Is this really the case? I mean, is there any research on this? I would guess exactly opposite is the case: I personally don't care about background music in most situations, but if I'm watching a film for two hours, I'm going to be very selective.
That means that Netflix in its current state is useless for me. As much as I applaud them for some of their production, the combination of half-empty catalogue and forced subscription model is going in the exactly wrong direction. I would pay one-time fee for Roma. I would pay subscription for a good catalogue.
Now, I don't state that it's not the case that most consumers does not care about what they watch as much as they care about what they listen. I'm just interested in some empirical data on this.
On the other hand, people don't re-watch movies and TV shows at nearly the same frequency. I may be wrong, but that's my observation based on myself and the people I know.
Also, I'm not sure if it releases everything as matter of routine, but Netflix certainly releases some of its original content on DVD/BD.
Really. Spotify's library is decent, but I find it is missing a fair bit of content that is available on youtube, etc
Spotify had a pretty neat prepaid option too, where your subscription doesn't renew until you manually recharge. Was cool of them to add such an India-specific feature at launch.
Rs. 119 per month (1.7$)
Rs. 1189 per year (16.85$)
And also, funnily, "top-up" plans:
Rs. 13 for 1 day (18c)
Rs. 39 for 1 week (54c)
Rs. 389 for 3 months (5.5$)
Rs. 719 for 6 months (10.2$)
Also available are student plans, which give you a 50% discount on the monthly plans. So you could end up using Spotify for ~85c a month in India.
For example they are missing names like Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Whitesnake, Fleetwood Mac etc.
P.S - I work for Jio.
P.S2 - Apple music also costs the same as spotify in India.
To reply to Zuron's comments: Even assuming Spotify experience is better, it is a question of pricing. Jio currently offers unlimited calls, text and 1.5GB of data per day (which includes all you can stream) for about the same price (USD 2.10 per month for the whole thing whereas Spotify charges USD 1.70 just for music streaming). I am trying to making a humble point that there are some incredible values to be obtained at this price point in India today.
@Ing33K - Yes that is me.
Don't know much, but my Indian friends seem to like them. From what I gather they compete strongly on price (as in free) in an attempt to get into many other sectors. Once you have a wechat-esque hold on numerous market sectors making them profitable isn't really that hard, which seems to be their goal.
I certainly don't agree with this type of business model either, but then again most people I know give strange looks when I rail against FB or Google.
Coming to Jio, their parent company Reliance is the biggest business group of India (the promoter is the 5th richest person in the world). The group is infamous for being corrupt in the business community and the number of questionable instances cannot even be counted. My company has done business with Reliance in the past and has never received payments for the same.
India being a lot more corrupt as a nation gives this company powers that would be unfathomable in developed nations. Just for a few small instances: this company has on many occasions changed regulation just to benefit their business model (or disruption) by sheer political clout. Even in case of Jio, the telecom interconnect charges in India were made 0, and will be changed again when Jio is in a position to benefit from them. And this is just 1 rule change. Vodafone's CEO has openly appealed that India's telecom authorities appear to be working for the interest of Jio only.
This topic is just too big to summarise, it needs a multiple volume book. You're not gonna believe this, but a few authors who have tried to write on the way this group has come up have been banned in India, this probably gives you an idea about how dangerous this group could be. Reliance's books are not believable, debts are irrational, business practices are unethical, etc, etc and the list will go on.
A clue here Reliance is a big backer of election campaigns for the current regime.
However, Gopal, just look at data prices world wide. India was already the cheapest in the world for telecom, and now the prices are unsustainable. Indians don't care about privacy, but this kind of pricing would require monetisation from a lot more sources than just user data. Not to mention the drop in QOS from all telcos after Jio moved pricing below cost.
I'm happy you're happy. But this isn't rational, and you don't know what kind of corrupt practices have made this possible.
> There was no enough competition before jio appeared.
India was the world's most competitive market for telecom, even before the existence of Jio.
I know that you want to defend Jio because you love the fact that you save few hundred rupees on your phone bill. But you probably don't know that if Reliance did not change regulation to make interconnect charges Rs.0 and benefit them, this would have not been possible. And I'm sure, now that they have the highest number of connections, they're going to make India introduce interconnect charges again.
Don't you wonder why this happened even after the launch of cheap Reliance Communication INR 501 phones back in 2002/03? They also gave people cheap plans and phones so, we should have been in better place. Then why is it that years later people have to struggle even for free lifetime incoming calls?
The reason is simple - Other telecos had to reduce prices to fight against customer migration to RCom. And then years later they were eating losses left and right thanks to RCom. They had to remove incentives to get back into profitability. Meanwhile, Reliance Communication is nearly bankrupt.
I do not hope for Jio's demise (not that it matters), but certainly hope that regulation is at least fair to all players and doesn't conveniently pave the path for its dominance over Indian industries like many people aware of the matter (spokespersons from telco infra providers like Ciena, RAD, CISCO, HUAWEI, etc.) have been saying.
Hey, I remember you from your username.
you were hiring for some fintech company. Were you hiring for JioMoney ?
This truly just means that 1 million people in India "downloaded" the app: a good share who were waiting for it and wanted to pay and a great share that are using it since it's also offered here for free. Plus there's already strong competitors with cheaper services and a lot more songs (including Apple Music).
If Spotify's only USP will be its song discovery, I doubt they'll get a lot of Indian users to switch just for that.
Whether they are able to remain competitive is another matter.
It is interesting that Spotify is $1.68 in India.
What's the price of roughly equivalent street foods in Mumbai vs. New York, for example.
I'd wager the multiple's not far off that between 6 user Spotify in the two countries.
The average Indian street food in Mumbai for 1 person is half a dollar.
 - https://www.statista.com/statistics/274772/forecast-of-mobil...
In a country with 1.4+ billion people, you just put up ads for the new service, make sign up and basic functionality free, and even a "urinate on your carpet" service could get 1M uniques on a few days...
I came with this hypothesis on my own, without referencing some media industry analyst...
So they're pretty much trapped into being a barely profitable company that's also milking money to the content owner.
Probably not at the same scale as Netflix and the sources on how common it actually is seems limited, but interesting nonetheless.
Edit, apparently Spotify has refuted this. Imo, it would make sense for Spotify to do this, so not sure what to think https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jul/13/are-spoti...
Which is fine of course, as long as it's sustainable AND artists earn a fair amount. Which for Spotify is debatable, in that as an artist you can't make a living off Spotify unless you have millions of streams.
I'm unsure how Spotify and the Artists are not making good money. Are the record companies syphoning off all the profits?
He does list as one possiblity that Spotify will one day cut out the labels from the value chain. I personally think it is inevitable; the labels used to source, market and distribute music, and there is nothing (except the "admission cost") that I can see will prevent a distributor such as Spotify to become a label. Spotify has a strong brand name which can be leveraged as a strong asset for "great music" if they do it right, whatever that means. Can't see them put other labels out of business though. Their blue ocean can be to completely ignore physical and go fully virtual, perhaps even as far as offering immersive 3D concerts online, with artists that never appear in person - or perhaps in the future with virtual artists that never even existed irl.
There is also nothing inherently wrong in just being a distributor. Sometimes harvesting a stable profit over decades is better than growing like cancer and then crashing because you're yesterday's news. However the record labels are a threat against the stability and hence it is most likely that Spotify will push to become independent, just like Netflix.
1. The record companies won't be happy with Spotify encroaching on their turf and will take their music away (see: Netflix).
2. There's far more to record label activities than releasing music. Production, promotion, marketing, distribution. How do you make a name for yourself in the modern music landscape when anyone can upload their music onto Spotify? Name a popular artist that doesn't have a large record company behind them, besides Chance.
Let’s see how the numbers change from now on. That will be a lot more interesting.
I was about to pay for it even thought it's offered as a free service as well. However, once I gave it a go, I realised the collection available in India is quite disappointing and this is clearly not what the 1 million were waiting for. PS - I'm not really using Spotify, even though I'm counted as a user.
It's good for recommendations but the collection isn't great. I'll stick with the much cheaper prime, 15 USD Per year gives you video, faster delivery and music.
Out of those 1.3bn, how many are children below 13 or seniors above 65? I wouldn't count those as targets of Spotify.
Further still how many of the remaining pie is connected to the internet? Remember India has vast swathes of the country that are extremely poor. So take those out of the pool.
Now of the remaining pool how many are eligible to pay for a service like this?
Okay and what subset of that started using spotify in the past 7 days?
The number is for sure smaller than 1.3bn and when accounting for the tiny time frame its enormously impressive. I actually find it impressive that you don't think that is a fantastic conversion in the space of a week, I wonder how many products in the history of mankind have achieved something like that?
Not that this detracts from Spotify's accomplishment. It's just worth pointing out what's possible.
And people using Jio already have access to JioMusic/Saavn.
Pandora is still decent for discovery.
PS. Still miss you in Ukraine
The way it works is one person pays and that person can add 5 other accounts to his ‘family’ to give them access to premium.
While recommendation is off the charts, the collection simply isn't there. Mostly due to licensing issues, I assume.
For instance, really loved the tracks from Suits, and got my own playlist on YouTube too, consisting off some nice tracks compiled from tunefinder.
But the Spotify track list is only a subset, and not all those tracks are available.
Am on iOS, so no Google Pay Music on phone, and for me Apple Music is no worse than Spotify, except when it comes to search.
What does that mean? Google Play Music works fine on iOS.