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Do Indians want Bollywood music on Spotify?

Editorials

Earlier this month, we learnt that Spotify is finally planning on expanding its reach in India after CEO Daniel Ek confirmed the news during the company’s Investor Day presentation.

Although Ek didn’t reveal any specific details, according to the details present in the public offering filing, Spotify has leased an office in Mumbai and that it has 308 employees in total in Australia, Brazil, India, Singapore and 17 other countries.


As usual, we covered this news and came across quite a bunch of fans with a very specific request.

Bollywood

Bollywood

Bollywood

Bollywood

Shocking right?

Now we are aware that just a bunch of people complaining about Bollywood music doesn’t represent the majority. But it does make one think, do Indians really want Bollywood music on Spotify? And if no, why?
The simple answer, by majority – Yes they do.

Whether you like it or not, Bollywood is a huge chunk of the Indian music industry. It’s like K-Pop is in Korea (probably even bigger). Bollywood music has played a tremendously important role in Indian society and still does today. To say that Spotify would launch in India and not offer the most popular genre in the country would just be a pointless and foolish move. Now while I type this, I have no official source confirming whether regional music will actually feature as part of Spotify’s catalogue, but it just makes sense that it would, given all of its major competitors have it!

Spotify is the only big player which is yet to launch its services in India. Global players such as Apple Music, Google Play Music and Amazon Music have all launched their services in the sub-continent and are competing alongside local players such as Gaana and Saavn. Saavn, Gaana and Apple Music, all have not just Bollywood music in their catalogue but even regional music spanning across all states in the country. Not everyone in India listens to just electronic or English Pop music. A huge population of the country still loves to listen to songs they hear on their local radio on a daily basis.

bollywood

bollywood

On top of that, if you haven’t already heard, Saavn just merged with JioMusic in a billion-dollar deal – a move tipped as Reliance’s effort to become a bigger player in the global music streaming market. With a strong local presence, Saavn is sure to give Spotify some stiff competition. Though that’s a discussion for another time.

So yes, there are a bunch of you who are gonna be reading this and complaining that the Spotify you’ve been accessing via VPN will now be flooded with Bollywood songs. Worst case just don’t listen to it people! Nobody’s gonna be sneaking Sonu Nigam songs in between your Trap and Electro House playlists. If you don’t like something, don’t listen to it. Nowhere does it say that Spotify is only meant for internationally recognized music and can’t cater to a local region’s needs.

Here’s a bold statement, but a true one nonetheless – Spotify has no chance of dominating the Indian market without having local and regional music on it. Whether you like it or not, you’re gonna have all local and regional genres of music on it.

Do you think Spotify should have Bollywood and regional music on it? What platform do you currently use to stream songs if in India? Let us know in the comments below.

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Khushrav Bhada

Content Writer - EDM News & Spotify Correspondent at T.H.E - Music Essentials
DJ, content creator and team partner at T.H.E, Khushrav is a music enthusiast whose interests spread across all genres from electronic to hip-hop to classical opera.

Khushrav’s passion for dance music started early on as he began creating weekly podcast episodes of the latest electronic music across genres and has mixed over 200 episodes over a span of 5years. As a dance music enthusiast, Khushrav still keeps up to date with every week’s releases, contributing to THE’s Spotify playlists.
Khushrav Bhada
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4 Comments

  1. Avatar for Khushrav Bhada

    It will be in best interest of Spotify to release Bollywood songs too. The thing that they should really try to avoid is recommending Bollywood music to users that didn’t opt in. For example I didn’t select Bollywood music or the Hindi language when I started using iTunes/Apple music but for some reason Apple music still recommends me Bollywood music just like the screenshot above. In the top songs playlist there are Bollywood songs which I didn’t expect nor did I sign up for on the first place. I get it why people don’t want Bollywood music on Spotify. It’s frustrating to see stuff marketed to you that you don’t like.
    It would be best if Spotify recommends songs based on your listening (which it currently does) and doesn’t recommend based on region or what’s popular in my country. I should at least give the user the control to manage what they wanna see in the recommended songs.

    Reply
  2. Avatar for Khushrav Bhada

    Spotify already has bollywood music on it!!! I listen to a fair amount of bollywood music on spotify. It just doesnt show up on the suggestions be we are tricking the algorithm to believe that we are listening to songs from the USA or any other country.

    Reply
  3. Avatar for Khushrav Bhada

    Spotify provides the many popular genres of music with much authenticity. And people who use it in India are the ones that really have a definite taste in music genres. Whereas, the scenario of Bollywood music is that it is the most unorganized music genre with so less authenticity in it’s music. There are very few artists in Bollywood music that can be called “artists”, all others are just a bunch of fake people trying to earn money through their music.
    And for your statement in the article which says “Nobody’s gonna be sneaking Sonu Nigam songs in between your Trap and Electro House playlists”. Mate , I think trap and electro house are the only genres you know from outside the India. You must be a Bollywood music fan.

    Reply
  4. Avatar for Khushrav Bhada

    Don’t listen to these firangized self loathing kids who think they are too cool for their own culture. Bollywood music is phenomenal and quite extra ordinary. You learn to appreciate that as you get older.

    Reply

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