Korea and Japan's Music Streaming Market Fluctuating + Spotify to Make Japanese Debut

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[Source: The official website of Spotify (www.spotify.com)]

By AsiaToday reporter Kim Ye-jin - Both Korean and Japanese music streaming markets are fluctuating with the emergence of big players - "Apple Music" and "Spotify" - respectively.

Spotify, one of the biggest providers of on-demand music, will make its debut this fall in Japan, the world's second largest market, reported Nihon Keizai Shimbun (a.k.a. Nikkei) on Tuesday.

Spotify will face several competitors. Avex and CyberAgent launched the AWA music last year, and LINE, Apple, and Google followed. Meanwhile, Apple Music made its Korean debut while big players such as Melon, Bugs, and Genie are keeping their positions firmly.

Founded in 2006, Spotify is used by 100 million people worldwide. The paid version alone has nearly 30 million users. The company will run a trial version this summer in Japan, and make its service available this fall.

The best feature of Spotify is its "free service", which offers the music library for free in exchange for the ads appearing on the display of f the users' IT devices. The advertising revenue is shared with record companies and the artists. Free service users are encouraged to become paid service. The company will offer its paid version costing 980 yen (approx. 10,600 won) per month.

In Korea, Apple surprisingly launched "Apple Music", a live music streaming service in a surprise move on August 5. Apple Music offers a three-month free trial. It charges $7.99 (8,800 won), slightly cheaper than services in North America with $9.99 (11,000 won).

It will be interesting to see whether Spotify will offer tailored service to Japanese customers, who are not yet familiar with fixed price music streaming service.

On the other hand, Apple Music is attracting Korean customers with 30 million tracks, but some point out that it lacks a huge quantity of K-pop catalog.