By Tom Noda
Popular Europe-based company Spotify, which made a splashing debut on Tuesday, April 8, said its online streaming service could help solve music piracy that’s been plaguing the Philippines since the advent of the digital revolution.
According to Spotify Asia director Sunita Kaur, a total of 95 percent of downloaded music in the Philippines is illegal and their company “really hopes” to help in improving the situation.
“I think most people don’t want to do it (piracy), but they don’t have an alternative,” she said. “But now, you have free access to over 30 million songs across all devices.”
Spotify claims to be one of the biggest music services in the world with over 24 million active users and over six million paying subscribers.
At Spotify’s formal launch in Makati City, Kaur said the company now has 56 total number of markets globally, with the Philippines as its fifth market in Asia.
Recent reports revealed Spotify played a major role in boosting digital music sales in Sweden as streaming revenues rose 30.3 percent and now accounts for 71.2 percent of Sweden’s music sales.
Kaur described Spotify’s business approach to be “holistic” as it aims to benefit both music fans and artists.
“We build a robust catalogue for fans and when we work with artists we want to bring their music globally,” Kaur said, noting Spotify now also has a rich list of Filipino music.
Spotify also boasts of working with 300,000 record labels, collecting societies, publishing houses including ?indie? companies globally.
Like several other online services, Spotify allows users to gain access to millions of songs for free using the Spotify app that is available on a mobile phone, tablet, or desktop.
But it also offers a premium service where users can pay P129 per month to play any song, download music, and listen offline in high quality audio and with no advertisements.
Kaur said Spotify’s settings are in 96 Kbps (normal), 160 Kbps (high), and 320 Kbps (extreme).
Globe Telecom is Spotify’s exclusive telecommunications partner in the Philippines and offers free access to Spotify through its new data plan GoSurf.
Globe’s mobile operator rival Smart Communications has launched a similar service in October 2013 called “Spinnr” ? an offshoot of the Smart Music streaming service launched in July of the same year.
An earlier version of this story carried the wrong information that Spotify is based in the US. But, as rightly pointed out by one of our readers, it is, in fact, headquartered in Sweden.