Spotify Debuts In Asia

Spotify made its official debut in Asia on April 16 when the music streaming service was made available in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Sriram Krishnan, who is in charge of Asia-Pacific for Spotify, told ZDNet Asia that the three markets were chosen as “stepping stones” to the continent because of their “high smartphone penetration rate” and the popularity of Facebook. Users can use Facebook to sign up for Spotify.

One of Spotify’s goals, according to Krishnan, is to actually wipe out music piracy in the region, noting that illegal downloaders have to spend a lot of time at their computers and risk installing malware onto their devices in the process.

“It all boils down to getting content free and being given access. So if a service can offer both, it will be compelling enough to stamp out piracy in the region,” he said.

Spotify is available for free with ad-supported content, or for a fee minus the ads. The fee-based premium service costs S$9.90 in Singapore ($8), RM$14.40 in Malaysia ($4.74) and HK$48 in Hong Kong ($6.18) per month.

Krishnan explained that the disparity in prices among the three countries is based on Spotify’s analysis of the respective markets to find the optimum price that will “entice consumers to part with their money.”