Western music fans have no shortage of digital music services to choose from, and that abundance is spreading around the world. Apple’s iTunes is now in 119 countries, and others are racing to plant their digital flags everywhere. This week, for example, Spotify opened in Italy, Poland and Portugal, bringing its reach to 23 countries.
But just as interesting, and in the long run perhaps as significant to competition, is the rise of services that serve regional markets intensely. One is Saavn, a Spotify-like streaming service that specializes in Indian music, and has garnered 10.5 million monthly users with advertising-supported free listening. This week it will announce that it has taken another page from Spotify’s book, by offering a premium version at $4 a month that eliminates the ads, lets users listen to songs offline and will eventually add other features like higher quality audio.