By Asina Pornwasin
The Nation Weekend
Gautam Talwar, managing director for Spotify, Southeast Asia, said that since the service’s launch, Thai users have spent 81 million hours streaming on Spotify.
“As one of the key markets for us here in Southeast Asia, Spotify is committed to ensuring that fans are enjoying their streaming experience on Spotify,” Talwar said.
As part of this commitment, it recently introduced Spotify On Stage, which the company describes as “a true celebration of voices and stories” behind the most streamed playlists in Thailand.
“Here at Spotify, we see that music has no borders. With our premier concert, we see this concept coming to life as we bring together music fans with their favourite artists in Bangkok,” said Talwar
The company said it aims to improve the lives of artists, creators, and music lovers in Thailand with Spotify. The company also wanted to continue being relevant and innovative as the platform of discovery for both users and artists.
“We are excited to see more and more Thai users turn to streaming for their music needs. We believe there is a huge potential for the music industry to grow," said Talwar.
As the penetration into society of smartphones and Internet connectivity continues to progress, this provides a great opportunity for streaming music. Streaming has become the industry's fastest-growing revenue source, growing at 41.4 per cent year on year.
According to the IFPI Report 2018, music streaming is now the single largest revenue source for the industry worldwide. with digital income accounting for more than half of all revenue (54 per cent) for the first time.
In Thailand, 81 per cent of recorded music revenue comes from the digital segment. Based on a 2016 report by Nielsen, 88 per cent of Thais consume music via applications, and music streaming has emerged as the main channel for Thais.
“We believe that music streaming will continue to grow, just like content on demand services grow globally, with users’ behaviour and expectations changing to cater for their ‘then and there’ customised needs,” said Talwar.
Thai market In focus
Thailand is one of the key markets for Spotify in Southeast Asia.
He said every market is unique, as streaming or listening to music is a personal experience. Thais love music, especially if it is on a service able to bring people and communities together.
Thais also have among the highest mobile phone penetration rates.
“By combining the two, we believe we have a service that make it easy for fans to listen to the music they love. From a vast variety of music genres to collaborative playlist functions, we offer users the best features and content; both international and local,” said Talwar.
He said there are many factors that have contributed to the growth of music streaming globally.
“Users today no longer want to be told what to listen to; they want the ability to choose and express themselves through music,” he said. “Music discovery is a key feature that would continue driving fans to music streaming platforms such as Spotify.
“Apart from that, as mobile penetration continues to grow, and the Internet infrastructure continues to improve, fans are demanding that their music be available anytime and anywhere. And as wearables continue to grow as a trend, the need for ubiquity amongst devices would be key.
"Music streaming is revolutionising the experience of the music fan and transforming the recording industry. Connected, on-the-move, music fans are dictating the pace of change.”
He claims that Spotify is the largest global music streaming subscription service, with over 180 million users.
“As a platform that is truly ubiquitous, fans will be able to stream music seamlessly through various devices. From your mobile phone to your desktop to your car, Spotify allows you to engage with your music beyond any app,” said Talwar.
“With access to over 40 million tracks and 3 billion playlists, from the best in Thai music to the latest international hits, Spotify users have the opportunity to enjoy a personalised way to discover artists and listen to what they love for free.”
From Discover Weekly to Daily Mix to Release Radar, each of these playlists are specifically curated for each individual user.
No one user will have the same playlist as these are curated based on the music fan's listening habits.
“The company monetises its service through both subscriptions and advertising. The premium service and ad-supported service live independently, but thrive together,” Talwar.
“To enhance the experience even further, music fans can decide to enjoy Spotify for free or stream without having to listen to ads via Spotify Premium. Spotify Premium is like Spotify's free service, only better.
“You are able to take your music offline. Play any song, anytime. No skip restrictions. No ads.
“Spotify Premium is also seamlessly available through carrier billing programmes we have with AIS and DTAC. Our ad-supported service serves as a funnel, driving more than 60 per cent of our total gross added premium subscribers since we began tracking this data in February 2014.”