Spotify Unveils Lite App for Slower Phones in Emerging Markets
Spotify released a new version of its music streaming app for customers in emerging markets, an effort to grow outside of its strongholds in the U.S. and Europe, according to Bloomberg.
The Spotify Lite app, which runs on Android phones, will appeal to users who are limited by data plans and slower networks, especially in regions like Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, the company said in a statement. The app was released in 36 markets and an ad-supported service will be available for free while a premium version will cost the same as on its regular music-streaming platform.
The company is counting on a new app for a much-needed boost in markets with lots of potential. The streaming service also needs to reassure investors about its growth prospects while it continues to lose money. “There’s much, much room for us to grow, both geographically and also product-wise,” Cecilia Qvist, Spotify’s global head of markets, said in Hong Kong. “Hopefully when we thrive, the ecosystem thrives.”
Spotify’s biggest challenge remains the royalties it pays for music rights, which eat up more than 60% of revenue and are a major source of its losses. The company has agreed not to push for another cut in fees in its current of negotiations with the music industry. Spotify has asked investors to trust that the market for audio streaming is still in its early stages. The company counts on North America and Europe for 65% of its users. Africa, Asia, and the Middle East make up just 13%.
Spotify Lite will use of 10 megabytes of storage, compared with about 100 megabytes for the main app. It offers the same look and feel as the normal Spotify app, but with limitations to preserve data consumption. Users can also set a data limit within the app to ensure they never exceed it.