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Spotify CEO thinks Indian music can go global like reggaeton


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“I believe 100% that we’re going to see a rise of Bollywood and new types of Indian music making it into the global scene in the very near future.”

Not the first prediction of this kind, but it carries extra weight given that the person making it was Spotify CEO Daniel Ek. He was talking to Music Ally after the company’s ‘Stream On’ event yesterday, in response to a question about Spotify’s expansion to 80 more countries.

“The easy answer is, obviously, if we want to be a global service and we want to be the number one audio service in the world, we have to be everywhere. This [week’s expansion] allows us to get to more than a billion new potential users,” said Ek.

“But it also means there will be millions of new creators that will have the opportunity to now have a platform to be heard on,” he continued, citing a stat from the earlier presentation that 80% of creators – the catch-all term Spotify is using for musicians and podcasters – on its service are listened to outside their home country.

“The music story in the past decade has gone from a very anglo-centric repertoire to now having reggaeton being one of the most successful music genres globally,” said Ek, who sees other previously-local genres repeating that trick.

“On a personal basis, I love Bollywood content as an example,” he said. “And then we have the entire African continent, and all of the amazing people that create music there.”

You can read our full interview with Ek here, in which Spotify’s CEO also talks about the company’s desire to “reshape the narrative, and be a lot more transparent than we’ve ever been before”; hints at plans for more features for musicians to interact with their fans; and also live audio (“There are elements of live listening that will eventually exist on Spotify too. You should imagine that functionality being available”).

Oh, and some futurology for good measure. “When you think about the future state, imagine walking down the street, and you get a news alert from your favourite news source. You should be able to listen to that, but if you pull out your smartphone or your wristwatch or even your AR glasses, you’ll be able to see the video clips accompanying that too. We’re [the industry, and people generally] thinking about these as all separate things, but I think it’s going to blend way more in the future. And the number of hours a day you can consume audio is just going to explode…”

Stuart Dredge

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