Spotify launches in Thailand to continue its Asia push

While talk of Spotify’s apparent upcoming IPO continues in the U.S., the music streaming service is furthering its coverage of Asia after it launched its service in Thailand.

Spotify Premium, which counts over 60 million paying users, will cost 129 THB in Thailand. That’s just over $4 and in line with its pricing across Asia. Customers in the U.S. and UK will be aware that it is substantially cheaper than what they pay, but Spotify has opted for local pricing worldwide.

Interestingly, Spotify will introduce daily and weekly packages to boost its potential in Thailand, where revenue from online music has actually declined by over 20 percent since 2012, Spotify Asia head Sunita Kaur told media at a press conference

The launch — which we reported was on the cards back in May — takes Spotify to 61 markets worldwide, and it is emblematic of the company’s recent focus on expanding its business in Asia.

Spotify first entered the region in 2013 with launches in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, it only added one new market over the next two years. It restarted its expansion plan in Asia last year when it launched its service in Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy and the world’s fourth largest population, and Japan, which is the world’s second most lucrative music market. Today’s launch takes it to seven countries in Asia, not including Australia and New Zealand when looking at the wider Asia Pacific area.

As we reported back in May, Vietnam is the next country in its sights, as evidenced by job listings and sources. India is a market that we understand Spotify has looked at seriously, but for now it has not committed to a launch.

Getting a solid position across Asia will help Spotify when it does finally go public. The latest reports suggest that will be via a direct listing, an unorthodox approach that involves going public without an IPO. Spotify is potentially missing out on hundreds of millions in proceeds from the IPO, but it could do a secondary offering to raise cash at a later date.

It’s also under pressure to compete with Apple Music, which is available worldwide. Spotify had an early head-start and it added 20 million paid subscribers in less than a year. It’s taken Apple Music more than a year and a half to make that progress. Spotify now has 60 million subscribers, compared to Apple Music’s 27 million, as of June.