Not more than a week after announcing Spotify is now available in India for the first time, the service said it amassed more than 1 million unique users across its free and paid subscriber plans.
Relatedly, the Swedish streaming service launched in the world’s second-largest country without recordings owned by the Warner Music Group.
For its India market debut, while a specific breakdown of subscribers vs. free users was unavailable, the company confirmed that the current free trial offering is for 30 days, while a monthly subscription will then cost 119 Indian Rupees per month, or approximately $1.68 USD.
But the impressive debut isn’t without drama. Warner Music Group filed an injunction seeking to stop Spotify from launching in India with songs published by Warner/Chappell Music Publishing, which a judge in Mumbai deferred for a period of several weeks. That allowed Spotify to begin rolling out its service in the interim, which it ultimately did the following day, with Warner/Chappell-published songs but without WMG-owned recordings.
The legal challenge and subsequent launch heightened tensions between Spotify and the major labels, which played out in the press in the past week. Following WMG’s injunction filing, Spotify accused WMG of “abusive behavior [that] would harm many non-Warner artists, labels and publishers, and prevent Spotify from competing in the market.” WMG called Spotify’s comments “appalling,” adding, “We’re shocked that they would exploit the valuable rights of songwriters without a license.”
Still, Spotify’s launch is significant in India, where its biggest competitor Apple Music already operates and where local service. The move has further complicated things, raising several copyright issues that had never been addressed by Indian courts for streaming, and which could now be in play in the coming legal standoff
The launch comes on the heels of recent expansion across MENA and Southeast Asia, bringing the total number of Spotify markets to seventy-nine. Spotify now has more than 200 million users, including more than 96 million subscribers, according to the company.