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
102 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
102 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
102 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
102 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
102 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
102 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)

Popular Stories

iPhone 15 Pro Cameras

iPhone 17 Pro Max Will Be First Model to Feature Three 48MP Cameras

Thursday July 11, 2024 12:20 am PDT by
Next year's iPhone 17 Pro Max will feature an upgraded 48-megapixel Tetraprism camera for enhanced photo quality and zoom functionality, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his n-iphone-tetraprism-upgrade-ca62dd37e364">latest investor note published to Medium, Kuo said the key specification change would be a 1/2.6" 48MP CIS sensor, up from the 1/3.1" 12MP sensor expected to be used...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

10 Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Monday July 8, 2024 5:00 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models simultaneously, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different – already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
maxresdefault

Apple's AirPods Pro 2 vs. Samsung's Galaxy Buds3 Pro

Saturday July 13, 2024 8:00 am PDT by
Samsung this week introduced its latest earbuds, the Galaxy Buds3 Pro, which look quite a bit like Apple's AirPods Pro 2. Given the similarities, we thought we'd compare Samsung's new earbuds to the AirPods Pro. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, you could potentially mistake Samsung's Galaxy Buds3 Pro for the AirPods Pro. The Buds3 Pro have the same...
primeday2020 feature3

The Best Early Prime Day Deals on Apple Products

Saturday July 13, 2024 6:23 am PDT by
Amazon is soon to be back with its annual summertime Prime Day event, lasting for just two days from July 16-17. As it does every year, Prime Day offers shoppers a huge selection of deals across Amazon's storefront, and there are already many deals you can get on sale ahead of the event. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may...