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Spotify Goes Live in India for Some, Official Launch Pegged for Wednesday

Spotify
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Spotify’s India launch is well underway, with some local users reporting that they can already access the music service on their devices. An official launch in the country is planned for Wednesday local time, according to sources with knowledge of the company’s plans.

Indian music fans celebrated the launch on Twitter Tuesday:

Earlier on Tuesday, Spotify revealed the pricing for its service in India, which is far below what the company is charging consumers elsewhere. Its premium service will be free for 30 days and then will be 119 rupees (around $1.67) per month.

In addition, Spotify is also offering a variety of other billing plans, including single-day access, as well as pre-paid plans for 3 months (Rs 389), 6 month (Rs 719) a whole year (Rs 1,189). Students receive a 50% discount.

Spotify’s launch in India comes amid a continued battle with Warner Music over licensing fees. Spotify was able to secure direct licensing agreements with Sony Music and Universal for the Indian market, but couldn’t come to an agreement with Warner. Instead, the music service is relying on statutory licensing for the use of music from Warner’s catalog.

In response, Warner filed for an injunction; Spotify claimed on Tuesday that the injunction was denied by a local court, with Warner contending that this was untrue. The court reportedly asked Spotify to maintain records on the use of any of Warner’s repertoire, which both sides celebrated as a legal victory.

Spotify CFO Barry McCarthy, who spoke at Morgan Stanley’s 2019 Technology, Media & Telecom Conference on Tuesday, declined to comment on the company’s India launch.

Asked about the dispute with Warner Music, McCarthy said: “We’re having a food fight with Warner. I can’t comment on the legal aspects of it… It’s not really about India; it’s about leverage and renegotiation of the global agreement.”

Jem Aswad and Todd Spangler contributed to this report.