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
75 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
75 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
75 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
75 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
75 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
75 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

home app ios 16

Apple Confirms iPad Will No Longer Be Supported as a Home Hub in iOS 16

Wednesday June 22, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
The iPad will no longer be able to be used as a home hub following the launch of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, and the HomePod 16 software this fall, Apple confirmed today. As discovered in iOS 16 code by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser, Apple says that the iPad will no longer be supported as a home hub. This information will be displayed in the Home app after updating to iOS 16.A home ...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple CEO Tim Cook Hints at AR/VR Headset: 'Stay Tuned and You'll See What We Have to Offer'

Wednesday June 22, 2022 6:34 pm PDT by
CEO Tim Cook this week did an interview with China Daily, where he once again commented on on the future of augmented reality and hinted at Apple's work on an AR/VR headset. Render via designer Ian Zelbo Cook said that Apple is excited about the opportunities available with augmented reality, which is not too far off from prior comments that he's made, but he went on to say that people should ...
customize wallpaper setting ios 16

iOS 16 Beta 2 Tidbits: New Wallpaper Colors, Backup Over LTE, SMS Filtering and More

Wednesday June 22, 2022 2:16 pm PDT by
Apple today seeded the second betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to developers for testing purposes, and the new betas introduce new features and refine some of the changes that Apple made with the first iOS 16 release. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Lock Screen Photo Wallpaper Customization When customizing a photo on the Lock Screen, there are two new DuoTone and...
Shazam Music Recognition Control Center

iPhone's Built-In Music Recognition Feature Syncs With Shazam App on iOS 16

Tuesday June 21, 2022 7:37 am PDT by
Since the release of iOS 14.2 in 2020, the iPhone has included a built-in Music Recognition feature in Control Center powered by Shazam. And with iOS 16, and also the iOS 15.6 beta, the feature has received a small but useful upgrade. As noted by Twitter user @someone_andrew, songs identified with Music Recognition in Control Center finally sync with the Shazam app. It also remains...
2022 back to school apple

Apple Launches 2022 Back to School Offer: Up to $150 Gift Card With Mac or iPad

Friday June 24, 2022 5:08 am PDT by
Apple today launched its annual "Back to School" promotion for college/university students in the United States and Canada. This year's promotion offers a free Apple gift card with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad, rather than free AirPods like last year. Apple is also offering students 20% off AppleCare+ plans during the promotion. Apple is offering a $150 gift card with the purchase ...
ios 16 lock screen feature2

Apple Seeds Second Betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to Developers

Wednesday June 22, 2022 10:07 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the second betas of upcoming iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the updates coming two weeks after Apple unveiled the new software at WWDC and released the initial betas. Registered developers can download the iOS and iPadOS 16 profiles from the Apple Developer Center, and once installed, the betas will be available over the air. Given...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple Rumored to Announce 'Game-Changer' AR/VR Headset in January 2023

Friday June 24, 2022 2:52 am PDT by
Apple is "likely" to announce its long-rumored mixed-reality headset as soon as January 2023, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reiterated. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo In a detailed post on Medium, Kuo explained that Apple's headset will be a "game-changer" for the augmented-reality and virtual-reality market. Describing some of the headset's...