Spotify has launched in India after keeping music fans waiting nearly a year.
The global music streaming platform joined India’s huge and fast growing market on Wednesday, pressing ahead with its launch despite a last-minute legal battle with one of the world’s top record labels.
Indian users can now download the Spotify app and access more than 40 million songs, according to the streaming company. Spotify Premium, its ad-free subscription service, will cost 119 rupees ($1.65) per month, a fraction of its $9.99 price in the United States.
The company is going after a chunk of India’s half a billion internet users. A recent boom in sales of smartphones and cheap mobile data plans has attracted Silicon Valley’s biggest players to the country. Google, Facebook, Amazon and Netflix have spent billions of dollars expanding their Indian businesses.
The launch ran into a legal hurdle earlier this week when Warner Music Group (WMG) filed an injunction on Monday to prevent Spotify from using its artists’ songs.
A Spotify spokeswoman told CNN Business that the company went ahead with the launch without WMG content while the court battle continues.
“We’re hopeful for a negotiated solution with Warner,” she said.
WMG didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Like other global tech companies, Spotify is tailoring its service to the Indian market. It has added several features for Indian users, such as customized playlists and fewer limitations on its free service.
The company has also tweaked its music recommendation algorithm to include Indian languages like Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu.
“India has an incredibly rich music culture and to best serve this market, we’re launching a custom-built experience,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said in a statement.
The streaming platform’s Indian launch, which has been in the works for nearly a year, pits it against global rivals like Apple and Amazon, as well as local services such as Gaana and JioSaavn, which is owned by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani.
Spotify signed a deal with Bollywood’s biggest record label, T-Series, earlier this year, which gives it access to more than 160,000 Indian songs.