The Jakarta Post
Five months into its operations in Indonesia, Sweden-based streaming service Spotify has found the Indonesian market to be one of the most vibrant as user numbers increase and pirated music consumption seemingly decreases.
Since its much anticipated launch in March, Indonesian Spotify users have streamed over 100 billion minutes of music, both local and international, and are listening to an average of 90 minutes of music per day, per user.
Interesting observations made on the listening behavior of Indonesian users is that they tend to make multiple playlists, which mainly revolve around atmospheres such as the act of drinking coffee.
As popularity of the service rises, the company said its focus had always been on finding ways to reach more customers on a more diverse level, hence their investment of time mainly in diversifying payment options in Indonesia.
As Indonesia is a market with an emerging financial technology scene, many non-bankable users are still unaware of such services, hence the utilization of bank transfers, phone credits and transactions through minimarkets.
Spotify Asia’s managing director Sunita Kaur said one of the most notable achievements the service has made was the gradual persuasion of users who used to consume their music through pirated means in the past five months.
While the numbers for this shift were not revealed, she said the benefit lies between both the listener and the artist as Spotify has provided a healthy alternative to both.
“Artists [here] are excited about the prospect of collaborating with us because we are battling piracy. We are turning money lost to piracy back to the industry. Globally, we have paid out over US$3 billion to the music industry,” she said at the Indonesia-Sweden Digital Forum on Tuesday.
Sunita added that up to 20,000 new songs are added to Spotify every single day, therefore helping to promote the local music scene in terms of accessibility.
In the first quarter of 2016, a slew of foreign streaming services pushed their way into the Indonesian market. Indeed, the previously overlooked country is now a market with one of the greatest potentials.
Music streaming services such as Spotify, Yonder Music, Apple Music and JOOX joined hand-in-hand with video streaming services such as iFlix, HOOQ, Viu and Netflix in and around the first quarter of 2016, transforming the previously non-existent Indonesian streaming market into a vibrant one.
Amid the rising use of internet in Southeast Asia’s largest economy, users are expected to reach 215 million in 2020 from 110 million now according to a recent Google-Temasek report, all of this against the backdrop of the emerging middle class and millenials aged 18 to 34.
Even the government is considering entering the market with their own service, as the Creative Economy Agency is planning to launch a local music-focused streaming app in collaboration with telecommunications operator Telkomsel.
Meanwhile, the most crucial aspect to assimilating into the Indonesian market, said Sunita, is the willingness and the level of localization that a service adopts.
“The advice that we received from the government, the Swedish embassy and [partner] Indosat Ooredoo carved what Spotify Indonesia is today,” she explained in regard to the importance of partnership within the market.
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