Spotify's music streaming service has just launched in India, and sports some features that will make US and UK listeners envious.
According to a blogpost, Spotify’s been considering an expansion into southern and eastern Asia for a while, and now it has managed to do so while adding some new capabilities to its service to better serve Indian listeners (via TechRadar).
One of the largest changes is that Indian non-Premium accounts are able to download songs and listen to them on-demand. This is the first time Spotify is offering this, and it would be a huge boon for folks using the service in other territories.
India is home to several different officially recognized languages, and therefore it’s only sensible that users can change between Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu at will. You’ve always been able to listen to pretty much whatever music you like on Spotify, but change this setting will also change a user’s recommendations, search results and so on, making it simpler to find the music you’re looking for.
While existing desktop Spotify users have been able to change their language with similar ease for a while, this is a lot easier than the current system on mobile, which requires you to change the system language on your phone rather than in the app.
Naturally, India’s receiving some new curated playlists to reflect the local musical tastes in rock, pop and rap and so on. But another huge force in shaping India’s audio landscape is Indian language cinema, comprising of Bollywood, Tollywood, Kollywood and Punjabi films.
These movies feature many a catchy song, and Spotify is reflecting this by including these songs in its library, as well as letting users search for and follow specific actors. Unless you happen to be a massive movie-musical or musical theatre fan, you’ve probably not noticed that there are very few actors with Spotify pages, as most soundtracks just get credited as “The Cast of X”. This will be a crucial feature for Indian listeners, and one that I personally really hope gets exported to other countries.
Perhaps the most interesting new addition is city playlists for Mumbai, Delhi, Bangaluru and Chennai, which track the most popular songs in each location. Depending on where you set your location currently on Spotify, the service will inform you of upcoming concerts by artists you regularly listen to.
Let’s hope that Spotify can bring over at least some of these features to its product in other markets. The company has done the work already, so why not just roll out an update? Come on Spotify, you know you want to.