Spotify ends invite-only period in Japan

spotify logo March2016 canvasSpotify made its first foray into Japan earlier this year, and the streaming music service has now ended its invite-only phase. During that period of limited access, the top track in Japan pulled in just 8,700 daily plays.

Compared to 1.8 million daily plays for the top U.S. tracks, the Japanese performance might seem paltry. But Japan is a market that still demonstrates a heavy preference for CDs. Physical formats generated $1.9 billion in the first half of this year, while digital revenue made just $255 million. So the road to matching stats from Spotify’s more established digital markets in Japan will be a long one.

Spotify has several Japan-focused partnerships to get a leg up in listener conversion. It has deals with telecoms NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and SoftBank. Its also working to make its platform appealing to local artists. “We’re the biggest driver of growth for the music industry globally, while introducing music fans to a far greater diversity of artists and genres,” a Spotify rep told Forbes. “Crucially, Japanese artists will get exposure to our 100 Million music fans around the world.”

Anna Washenko