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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Streaming Music Companies Battle for International Listeners

Rdio, Deezer and Spotify are just some of the music streaming services that are trying to gouge out each other’s eyes in order to reach as many American customers as possible. These services have also expanded their battlegrounds all over the world. The problem is that they cannot just simply go to Germany or Argentina and open an office. In order to be successful, a streaming service needs to work with publishers, labels and other local rights holders. They also have to form agreements with cell phone and internet providers. Streaming services that wish to win international wars have to have some presence in the countries mentioned below:


It has a population of 1.2 billion due to which it is regarded as a huge prize by Western streaming services such as Rdio, which has recently launched in January. It didn’t just apply the standard format to its service there; instead, it bought a local service called Dhingana so it could also offer Bollywood songs and other regional hitmakers. Spotify’s vice president for content and distribution, Sachin Doshi said that it wasn’t that easy to establish in India because the Bollywood content is extremely diverse.


There are 100 million music fans in Brazil and streaming services are competing to get to them. The major advantage is held by Google Play as local smartphones run on the Android OS. However, others like Deezer and Spotify have also fared well because they have curated the local pages to suit the diverse musical taste of the population.


This country has been far ahead of others in the online music sector as its home to the renegade Pirate Bay and Spotify. 80% of local music consumption is done via streaming and the country has a very large base of smartphone users.


Most Western Services cannot be used in China such as the iTunes. But, Microsoft and Nokia do have an online-radio service there and China’s streaming services are also quite dominant.


CDs are a top favorite of music fans in Japan and the shiny plastic disc is responsible for contributing 85% of the music sales in the country. This means that streaming services like Rdio and Spotify have found it difficult to break into it. They are looking for ways to enter the market and gain traction, but haven’t found a way as yet.


Competition in Russia over music streaming customers is similar to the US as Deezer and Spotify are battling for local players that have lots of users. Another problem for streaming services is that Russian fans have an obsession with piracy so it is tough to break.


As opposed to Japan, CDs never became popular in Colombia because they were too expensive. Therefore, Deezer and similar services have been able to make way as statistics reveal that 85% people in Latin American use such services for satisfying their musical curiosity.

Along with Germany and Mexico, these countries can give streaming services the edge they need in international markets.

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