Battling Pandora for turf in the on-demand music streaming service business, Spotify announced plans to expand its footprint into Asia, Latin America and Northern Europe recently on its blog.
The company will expand into eight new countries, bringing its total markets to 28. The new locations include Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mexico, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Iceland.
“Today we’re thrilled to announce that we’re bringing a new world of music to eight new markets
across the globe,” Spotify announced on its blog. “We’re taking our first steps in Latin America with Mexico, and Asia with Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore. Plus we’re thrilled to make new friends in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Iceland. This fantastic step now brings us to 28 markets and closer to our dream of making all the world’s music available instantly to everyone, wherever and whenever they want it.”
Based in Stockholm, the company already serves users in the US, most of Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Founded in 2008, Spotify offers on-demand music content. The company offers a free service that enables users to listen to an unlimited amount of music on desktops for free with advertising sponsorship. That aspect of the service currently has over 24 million active users, which are defined by anyone who has used it in the last 30 days. Spotify Unlimited lets users listen to advertising free music on desktops for $5 per month. The company also offers a premium edition that is advertising free, enables users to download an unlimited amount of music, and listen to the service on any device, including mobile. The paid service downloads can also be listened to without an Internet connection. It has six million paid subscribers.
The company pays about 70 percent of its revenue back to copyright owners, sharing royalty revenue with record labels and artists. It claims to be the solution to Internet piracy by offering users cheap access to music that circumvents the need for illegal downloads and file sharing.
Spotify is rivaled by Pandora, another streaming service that acts as a curated Internet radio based on the tastes of the user. Pandora vastly outsizes Spotify in its free service with 69 million users, but has struggled to earn a profit due to the hefty fees it pays in royalties.
The Spotify Unlimited Service will not be offered in Asia, the Next Web pointed out, as that service requires a desktop and the vast number of Asians using the service will likely do so through mobile. Users can choose a free option, which acts as a curated radio station similar to Pandora, or choose a Premium service for SG$9.90/HK$48.00/MYR 14.90 per month.
The expansion is certainly significant, especially considering the size of the Asian market. Facebook’s biggest market is Asia with more than 250 million registered users, so the region offers plenty of room for growth as the company strives to increase its paid user base.