TOKYO (CelebrityAccess) — After months of speculation, Spotify finally appears to be gearing up for a launch in Japan.
According to ITU News, record label sources have indicated that the streaming music service is preparing for a launch in July. The company has been on a hiring spree for its offices in Tokyo since at least January of this year and its launch there has been widely anticipated.
While boasting an advanced infrastructure, Japan has been notoriously difficult ground for streaming music to crack, with consumers strongly prefering physical media over streamed music. Revenue from physical has remained remarkably stable in Japan recent years, only slipping by two percent in 2015, according to Recording Industry Association of Japan.
Other Japanese streaming music services such as Line Music, a joint venture between popular texting service Line and Sony Music; and AWA, the streaming service for Japan's second largest label Avex Group Holdings follow the paid subscription model, but have struggled after they failed to convert early free trials to paying subscribers.
Apple Music has found more success, converting a higher percentage of trial period users to paying subscribers but primarily appealing to an older demographic who have developed a taste for western music and have access to credit cards. – Staff Writers