SpotifySpotify launched in Japan today, 18 months after it opened its first offices in the country (via TechCrunch).

The streaming service has been in protracted negotiations with record labels to flesh out rights for the region, allowing rivals like Apple Music to get a head start in the country's hugely lucrative market.

Music sales in Japan are estimated to be almost $3 billion a year, making it the second largest market outside of the U.S. One potential obstacle for streaming services is that people in Japan prefer to buy and own music on CD rather than purchase digital files, although the convenience of streaming could sway consumers and allow services like Spotify to build a significant subscriber base in the country.

Spotify also becomes the only mainstream streaming service in Japan that offers a free-tier option for users, which may have been a factor in its protracted negotiations with the music industry, but could serve to persuade Japanese consumers to give streaming a try over competitors.

Back in March, Spotify launched in Indonesia, the company's first big expansion in Asia for some time. It first entered the continent in 2013 with launches in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia, but had been relatively quiet in the region since.

Spotify has 40 million paying customers compared to Apple Music's 17 million paying customers. Yesterday it was reported that Spotify is in 'advanced talks' to purchase SoundCloud, which has upwards of 175 million listeners per month and could provide a huge influx of users to the service, giving it an edge over Apple.

Tag: Spotify

Top Rated Comments

69650 Avatar
65 months ago
Good for them. I don't want to see Apple monopolise the streaming market in the same way they dominate the download market. They have shown a total lack of commitment to fixing and improving iTunes.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thatanonymoususer Avatar
65 months ago
I wonder if that means I'll be able to try streaming Japanese music. It's a bit hard to get Japanese music legally in the US without buying Japanese iTunes gift cards or just streaming off of youtube.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
stanman64 Avatar
65 months ago
Good for them. I don't want to see Apple monopolise the streaming market in the same way they dominate the download market. They have shown a total lack of commitment to fixing and improving iTunes.
I agree. Competition drives the amount of effort companies put into their products. No competition = no effort = no improvement.

And Spotify is some darn good competition.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Defthand Avatar
65 months ago



One potential obstacle for streaming services is that people in Japan prefer to buy and own music on CD rather than purchase digital files
This is true. I read that Japan’s consumers covet the album art and other fan novelties that accompany the CD.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rworne Avatar
65 months ago
I wonder if that means I'll be able to try streaming Japanese music. It's a bit hard to get Japanese music legally in the US without buying Japanese iTunes gift cards or just streaming off of youtube.
I attempted that just last night when it went live.

No, you cannot.

Apparently, your Spotify login does not work when logging into Spotify Japan. You need a special Japan-only account (currently invite-only). Spotify will only let you listen to Japanese music while on a Japanese IP address (free account) or you must have a billing address in Japan (Premium).

I've tried it via VPN, exiting in Japan, my account will not let me change countries and I have access to only the same stuff I have with my US account. Although I signed up for the invite, nothing has come in yet.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
smbu2000 Avatar
65 months ago
I wonder if that means I'll be able to try streaming Japanese music. It's a bit hard to get Japanese music legally in the US without buying Japanese iTunes gift cards or just streaming off of youtube.
Well there are other streaming services as well that stream JP music over here. I can stream JP music via my Amazon Prime (JP) account. It only costs 3,900 yen/year. I don't really use it that often, but they have a decent selection of English/JP music. I basically signed up for the shipping service as I can get same day shipping on many things if I order early enough in the day. (very useful handy, although standard is next day shipping)

Apple also just released that itunes music card that you can buy to get a 1 year subscription to Apple Music for 9,800 yen.

I was thinking about trying it, but I generally prefer to listen to music on my devices and don't really stream that much.

I'm not sure if you need to have a JP IP address for them though.

I'm not really a fan of the Amazon Prime Music app on my Mac though. It's not too good, IMO. The iOS app is a bit better.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple california streaming event

Apple Event Announced: 'California Streaming' on September 14 With iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7 Expected

Tuesday September 7, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple today announced that it will be holding a special event on Tuesday, September 14 at 10:00 a.m. The event will take place at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with WWDC and last year's fall events, this new event will be held digitally with no members of the media invited to attend in person. Apple will likely provide pre-taped segments for...
Apple Prefer Lightning Over USB C Feature

iPhone Sticking With Lightning Port Over USB-C for 'Foreseeable Future'

Tuesday March 2, 2021 9:32 am PST by
Apple will retain the Lightning connector on the iPhone for the "foreseeable future," with no intention of switching to USB-C, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In spite of much of the industry moving toward USB-C, Apple will not be using it to replace the Lightning connector on the iPhone 13, or indeed on any iPhone model for the time being. In a note seen by MacRumors yesterday,...
iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived in October 2020 in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone...
it home ecommerce app iphone 13

iPhone 13 to Launch on September 17, AirPods 3 on September 30, Claims Report

Wednesday August 25, 2021 2:42 am PDT by
Apple may be planning to launch the iPhone 13 on Friday, September 17 and third-generation AirPods on Thursday, September 30, according to an image of an e-commerce app discovered by Chinese language site IT Home. The screenshot, originally posted by Weibo account @PandaIsBald, suggests all four iPhone 13 models will go on sale on September 17, followed by the AirPods 3 on September 30....
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
maroon5memories

Apple Collaborates With Maroon 5 to Add 'Memories' Song to Photos App

Wednesday September 25, 2019 12:02 pm PDT by
Apple has teamed up with Maroon 5 to add the group's new song "Memories" to the Memories feature in the Photos app, allowing it to be used for photo slide show creations, reports Billboard. "Memories" will be available as a soundtrack option for a limited time and it is available to iPhone and iPad users running the latest iOS 13 and iPadOS software. Memories in the Photos app are created ...
ulysses Blog Publishing

Ulysses 22 Brings New Blogging Options and Visual Customizations

Monday March 22, 2021 5:24 am PDT by
Popular writing app Ulysses today received its 22nd major release, introducing new publishing features and additional options for users to customize the visual appearance of their writing environment. As well as providing a focused writing environment, Ulysses offers ways to publish texts from within the app to various blogging platforms. Version 22 adds the ability to publish to Micro.blog, ...
affinity designer contour tool

Serif Updates Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher With New Tools and Functions

Thursday February 4, 2021 1:58 am PST by
Serif today announced across-the-board updates for its popular suite of Affinity creative apps, including Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and the Apple award-winning Affinity Publisher for Mac, all of which were among the first professional creative suites to be optimized for Apple's new M1 chip. "After another year which saw record numbers of people switching to Affinity, it's exciting to...