September 24, 2013 - 14:10 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Spotify has launched in Argentina, Greece, Turkey and Taiwan, bringing its streaming music platform to a total of 32 countries, TechCrunch reports.
The heart of the Mandopop (Mandarin pop) industry, Taiwan marks the latest step in Spotify’s Asia expansion, which began in April when the service premiered in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
Desktop streaming is free in Taiwan and premium service, which allows users access the platform on their mobile devices or smart TVs, is NT$149 (about $5), or half of the $9.99 that users in the U.S. pay.
Despite its lower pricing in Asia, Spotify faces strong competition from several local players, including KKBOX, which has 10 million users and already boosts strong ties to Mandopop labels. KKBOX has diversified its product offerings beyond streaming music by hosting live events on its platform that allow users to listen along as celebrities select tracks and chat via text, organizing an annual KKBOX Digital Music Awards and publishing a print magazine with profiles of Mandopop stars.
In Argentina, Greece and Turkey, Spotify will compete with Deezer. The streaming music service launched in Turkey earlier this month and now operates in 182 countries.
Spotify is a commercial music streaming service providing Digital Rights Management-protected content from record labels, including Sony, EMI, Warner Music Group and Universal. Music can be browsed by artist, album, record label, genre or playlist as well as by direct searches. On computers, a link allows the listener to purchase selected material via partner retailers.