After years of waiting and agonizingly jumping through hoops for the premium membership, Spotify has finally launched in Sri Lanka. As part of its ongoing commitment to building a truly borderless audio ecosystem, Spotify has expanded its subscription service to 80+ new markets around the world, making music available to a billion more people and has added 36 additional languages to the platform.
The move represents the broadest market expansion to date by the audio streaming service. Following the expansion, Spotify is now available in over 170 countries. Launched in 2008, Spotify has amassed 345 million monthly active users across 95 countries. Of those, 155 million are premium paying subscribers. While it started out as a music streaming platform, it now allows people to listen to podcasts, audiobooks and meditations.
While Spotify does face serious competition from the likes of Apple Music and YouTube Music, it comes out ahead of them due to its large catalogue, collaborative playlists, podcasts, and numerous other attractive features. Part of its popularity lies in its universal reach. The audio streaming service is accessible on web browsers, PC desktop apps, mobile apps and other devices such as smart TVs, gaming consoles, smartwatches and cars. The desktop app also doubles as a music player. Allowing you to listen to both your Spotify library and your PCs music collection. Both the desktop and mobile apps also feature synchronised lyrics, giving you the option to karaoke.
Spotify’s premium plans
While Spotify does also offer a free subscription, it comes at a cost. The most notable downsides of streaming on the free tier are the forced shuffle on mobile – locking you out of choosing what song to play next and the ads that play for a few minutes, every 30 minutes of streaming.
The Rs. 529 per month Spotify Premium plan lets you listen to select albums before they’re released and play songs on demand. You can also download songs for offline playback on your computer, phone, or other devices. This tier also increases overall audio quality to 320Kbps. Feature- and quality-wise, Premium is worth the monthly subscription.
The Spotify Family Plan grants six people individual premium accounts for a wallet-friendly Rs. 849 per month. Competitively priced when compared with the industry-standard family plan pricing. Spotify’s take on the family plan includes several cool features, such as Family Mix and Spotify Kids.
If you need a plan that only covers two people, Spotify Duo is the way to go. The Rs. 679 per month tier is essentially a Family Plan for a pair of people, minus Spotify Kids. It even has its own take on Family Mix: Duo Mix. A Spotify student plan is available for Rs. 265 per month.
Boasting more than 50 million songs, plus audiobooks, comedy, radio dramas, podcasts, poetry readings, and speeches, Spotify’s greatest strength lies in its diversity. From niche music in Japanese that hasn’t been translated yet to Podcasts on Dungeons and Dragons, the audio streaming service’s library is a deep content well. A rich collection of audio. In fact, Spotify’s library is home to quite a few non-music extras, such as The Joe Rogan Experience, TED Talks Daily and soundtracks from favourite TV shows.
An intuitively designed UI, clicking on the artist’s name takes you to additional songs by the artist, and an about tab that contains the artist’s biography, photos, and other related info. The feature tends to take you down the rabbit hole when you’re just discovering new artists. In our experience, we jumped from Coldplay to BTS in a matter of a few clicks.
With a good mix of mainstream and indie artists, Spotify has something for everyone to listen to. The task of building a road trip playlist becomes simpler with its collaborative playlist option. Allowing your playlist to be edited by your friends. Group Session, a feature currently in beta, takes that up a notch. It lets you and other Premium subscribers listen to the same content at the same time on your own devices – and control the content playback. Group Session supports two to five people and, thankfully, you can invite friends and family to chill out by sending them a link.
Besides finding music in the form of singles, albums, and playlists, Spotify allows you to create an Artist Radio station that plays music from your favourite musicians, as well as similar-sounding musicians. A trick it uses to entice you from discovering more music. Your “Liked Songs”/Library on Spotify is a reflection of you – spanning multiple genres you’ve ever enjoyed and each mood you’ve experienced. Some days, you might be looking to play the entire eclectic mix, while on others, you’re searching for a certain feel.
Building on this, the audio streaming service is rolling out a new way for our listeners to easily sort their library for every mood and moment through new Genre and Mood filters. With this new feature, listeners with at least 30 tracks in their collections will be able to filter their favourite songs by up to 15 personalized mood and genre categories. From genres like electro-dance, K-pop, and metal to moods like pump up, moody, and soulful, your favourite songs will now be the best representation of you in any given moment.
But the key feature that sets Spotify apart from the rest, is it’s Music Data Analytics behind the hood. Monitoring every aspect of your listening habits, it has a treasure of data to build your own music profile. Using this, the audio streaming service comes out with colourful and interesting infographics tailored to your profile.
What does this mean for Sri Lanka?
Aside from the obvious access to music streaming, Spotify’s launch in Sri Lanka also signifies a new opportunity for both budding and established artists. With millions of potential listeners both locally and internationally, Sri Lankan artists have can look forward to monetizing their music on the audio streaming service. With its free and premium subscriptions, it remains the go-to streaming music thanks to its diverse library, collaborative playlists, early album access, and podcasts.