This morning, the WSJ reported that Apple’s music streaming service surpassed Spotify in paid subscribers in the US, and now hopes to do the same in the Indian market by taking a huge price cut. The company’s individual plan in India is now Rs 99 per month ($ 1.43 USD), compared to Rs 120 per month ($ 1.73 USD) it had previously.
Additionally, the Apple Music student plan price dropped from Rs 60 per month to Rs 49; and the Family Plan is now 149 rupees per month compared to 190 rupees per month before the price cuts.
The news was first reported by The Indian Express and was shared on social media.
The new lower prices are available to both existing subscribers and new customers, it seems.
India is a crucial market for streaming services, and it is a more recent battleground for major US tech companies in addition to Spotify.
In March, YouTube Music and its paid subscription service YouTube Premium launched in India, following Amazon and Google who already operate their music services in the region. This year, Spotify also entered India amid a complicated licensing dispute with Warner Music, which affected the number of tracks available.
But these companies are not only facing each other for dominance.
India today has a rich music scene that includes local players like Gaana, JioSaavn (created through the fusion of JioMusic and Saavn), Wynk and others.
And recently, JioSaavn and Gaana cut their annual subscription prices by 70 percent. Those cuts were focused on blocking customers for a year, keeping them away from YouTube, Spotify and Apple as a result. Recent discounts caused JioSaavn’s premium tier to drop to Rs 299 per year, 70 percent less than at Rs 999. Meanwhile, Gaana Plus was discounted at Rs 298 per year instead of Rs 1098, as before.
Apple does not disclose the number of Apple Music subscribers in India, but it has 56 million subscribers globally.
The service has been customized for the Indian market with playlists featuring local music, including popular ones in regional languages like Malayalam and Tamil, The Indian Express noted. It also has 14 localized radio stations and deals with leading Indian brands such as Saregama, T series, Zee Music, YRF, Universal and Sony.