Spotify, the Free Music Streaming Service, Launches in Malaysia

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Spotify, the music streaming giant, has finally made its official debut in Asia. On 16 April 2013, it launched into 3 markets: Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Spotify offers music to customers through a free ad supported service and also offers paid service, which includes mobile device support and no advertisements.

Spotify is a attractive alternative for those who might otherwise engage in music piracy. The company believes music piracy in Asia is its biggest competitor, which it hopes to help eliminate through its music streaming services.

What is Spotify?

Spotify is a Swedish music streaming service provider with over 25 million active users worldwide and 6 million paying users. The regional head of Spotify, who is based in Hong Kong, is actually a Malaysian, Sriram Krishnan, who has previously worked in Hong Kong, Singapore and Sweden. Spotify was launched in the year 2008, as a free on-demand music streaming service. The company strikes deals with music labels and pays about 70% of its revenue to rights holders. A key competitor to Spotify is Pandora, which actually has a larger user base.

Spotify Services Offered Around the World (Excluding Asia)

Spotify provides the following three services to most of the world (Note: the services in Asia are slightly different, as discussed further below):

  • Free service: This is an advertisement-supported platform that lets users listen up to 40 hours of free music per month
  • Unlimited service: This is free of advertisements for laptops and desktops
  • Premium service: This is an ad free service and allows users to access Spotify through multiple devices including smartphones and tablets.

Spotify Services Offered in Malaysia

Spotify offers two services in Malaysia, which are variations of the ones described above.

  • Free service: This is an advertisement-supported platform that currently let’s users listen to an unlimited amount of free music. This is a nice benefit for us in Malaysia, since those living outside of Asia are limited to 40 hours per month.
  • Premium service: This provides an ad-free service and allows users to access Spotify through multiple devices, including smartphones and tablets .  The Spotify Premium service costs only MYR 14.90 per month.

Read more: 8 Reasons to Purchase Spotify’s Premium Version

Encouraging Local Artists

Along with offering new music consumption models to Asian countries, Spotify would also provide a global platform for local artists. Although he did not divulge the specifics, Krishnan has revealed that Malaysian artists would be included in the estimated 20,000 new tracks that are added every day by the company. Spotify currently boasts a catalogue of over 20 million tracks. Although the company currently does not have an office in Malaysia, it has plans to establish a sales team locally in the country.

 The Future of Spotify in Malaysia

The success of Spotify is largely going to depend on how well it attracts the pirated music users. There is little doubt that the model Spotify is using has a lot of potential in Malaysia, but the model has barely been tested here. It will be interesting how many people choose a free, legitimate music source over pirated options. Maybe Spotify could even the pave the way for more video streaming services in Malaysia, such as Hulu or NetFlix.

You can get Spotify in Malaysia here.


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Photo credit: Jon Åslund / Foter.com / CC BY

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