Japan seems to be the platform of choice for international giants foraying into Asian markets. Niantic released Pokemon GO back in July in the Land of the Rising Sun, though not after its fair share of delays. Niantic subsequently rolled out the game throughout most of Asia in the following months, though an India launch still remains dubious due to various public litigations raised by those concerned with public safety issues that the game has been reputed to cause. Now Spotify, the Swedish music streaming service that is favoured by most music lovers throughout the west, has been launched in Japan today. For Spotify, this may not be the first time that the service will be available in Asia, but it certainly marks one of its most important expansions in the continent in 2016.
Spotify had already ventured into Asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore much earlier, and the service expected to come to India in the near future. Spotify has had a professional presence in Japan for more than two years now, and the company has been in talks to launch their service in the country for quite some time. But as it appears, the launch that seemed imminent at every point suffered multiple setbacks. Japan is one of the most lucrative markets in the world for sales in music. The country’s music market stands only behind the US, churning out estimated sales of about $3 billion every year.
A number of music streaming services already exist in the Japanese market, including local initiatives like Line and Awa as well as international ones from the likes of Apple and Google. To gain more attention in the country, Spotify will also launch a new lyrics feature on mobile and desktop devices, which will be available in Japan before anywhere else. But Japan is yet to show great interest in similar services with users in the country being more inclined towards buying physical copies of music rather than streaming them from online sources.
In other news, Spotify is currently in the process of acquiring popular German music streaming service SoundCloud. According to reports, the latter had been considering strategic options for the company for quite some time, and the possibility of a sale was not ruled out. However, both parties are tight-lipped about the proceedings and further details are not known.