Spotify officially becomes Japan’s first ‘freemium’ music streaming service
Believe it or not, the world’s most popular mobile and desktop music streaming app has somehow managed to reach and retain that dominant position within an increasingly competitive industry sans making its freemium services available in a number of key markets.
At long last, you can cross Japan off the list of unsupported countries today, with Spotify live on an invite-only basis in the Land of the Rising Sun for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, OS X, Windows, PlayStation 3 and PS4.
A proper, wide, invitation-free launch is of course right around the corner, and although Apple Music and Google Play Music have preceded Spotify to Japanese shores, the Swedish audio streamer bets on its global two-tier business model for local recognition.
As everywhere else, you can opt for a free-to-the-user ad-supported song selection, or “fully featured” subscription, the latter of which is unlimited, uninterrupted, offline-available and HD audio-capable, costing just 980 yen (roughly $10) a month.
To celebrate its long overdue expansion to the second largest music market in the world, Spotify also brings its previously desktop-exclusive lyrics functionality to mobile devices. Only in Japan for now, which makes sense, given the nation’s love for Karaoke.
It’s worth pointing out that Spotify has had quite a bit of trouble spreading across the Asia Pacific region, with China, India or South Korea still not part of the 60-country roster yielding a massive 100 million+ user count.