This morning, The WSJ reported Apple’s streaming music service overtook Spotify in paid subscribers in the U.S., and now it hopes to do the same in the Indian market by way of a big price cut. The company’s individual plan in India is now 99 rupees per month ($1.43 USD), versus the 120 rupees per month ($1.73 USD) it was previously.
In addition, the price for the Apple Music student plan dropped from 60 rupees per month to 49 rupees; and the Family Plan is now 149 rupees per month versus the 190 rupees per month it was before the price cuts.
The news was first reported by The Indian Express and was shared across social media.
The new, lower prices are available to both existing subscribers and new customers, it appears.
India is a crucial market for streaming services, and one that’s a more recent battleground for major U.S. tech companies in addition to Spotify.
In March, YouTube Music and its paid subscription service, YouTube Premium, launched in India, following Amazon and Google, which already operate their music services in the region. This year, Spotify also entered India amid a complicated licensing dispute with Warner Music, which impacted the number of tracks available.
But these companies aren’t just duking it out with one another for domination.
India today has a rich music scene that includes local players like Gaana, JioSaavn (created via the JioMusic and Saavn merger), Wynk and others.
And recently, JioSaavn and Gaana both slashed their annual subscription prices by 70 percent. Those cuts were focused on locking down customers for a year — keeping them away from YouTube, Spotify and Apple, as a result. The recent discounts saw JioSaavn’s premium tier drop to Rs 299 per year — 70 percent down from Rs 999. Meanwhile,Gaana Plus was discounted to Rs 298 per year instead of Rs 1098, as before.
Apple doesn’t disclose its Apple Music subscriber count in India, but it has 56 million subscribers on a global basis.
The service has been customized for the Indian market, with playlists that feature local music, including those popular in regional languages like Malayalam and Tamil, The Indian Express noted. It also has 14 localized radio stations and deals with leading Indian labels like Saregama, T series, Zee Music, YRF, Universal and Sony.