Music streaming web service Spotify launched in Taiwan
CNATAIPEI -- The music streaming web service Spotify became available yesterday to users in Taiwan as part of a plan to expand into Asia amid competition from bigger companies.
September 25, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
The Stockholm-based company, which has about 24 million active users and 6 million paid subscribers worldwide, is offering free on-demand music for general users in Taiwan and an ad-free premium service at a cost of NT$149 (US$5.05) per month.
Taiwan is the fourth Asian market that Spotify has entered after Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia in April this year.
The company plans to expand into other regional markets by the end of the year, said Sunita Kaur, director of Spotify's Asia operations.
“We know Taiwan is the center of Mandarin pop, so it makes perfect sense for us to come here,” she said at the launch.
It is likely to take an average of three to six months to observe the paying service in Taiwan, Kaur said, noting that about 20 percent of Spotify's global users are paying customers.
Launched in 2008, Spotify provides services in 32 countries, including the United States and most of Europe.
The on-demand music sector has gained popularity among smartphone users and has attracted the interest of global technology giants such as Amazon.com Inc., Google Inc. and Apple Inc.
Robin Lee, director of the Recording Industry Foundation in Taiwan, said at the launch that the output value of Taiwan's music industry had contracted sharply from NT$15 billion in 1997 to less than NT$2 billion last year.
Despite the rise of digitalization, digital music accounted for only 27 percent of Taiwan's overall music output value in 2012, compared with the global average of 35 percent, Lee said.
He urged Taiwanese to use legal streaming music services rather than downloading pirated songs.
In Taiwan, there are 1.5 million legal online music customers and 6.5 million illegal users, according to Lee.