Spotify is expecting to launch soon in Japan. Unnamed sources told TechCrunch that the rollout is set to happen before the end of September. The streaming platform has had an office in Tokyo for more than a year and has been laying the groundwork for the expansion for even longer. Spotify reportedly has some Japanese label deals in place to support its launch.
Japan is often seen as a challenging market for digital music operations because listeners have shown a preference for physical formats. Digital revenue in the first half of 2016 totaled $255 million, compared with $991 million on CD spending. Streaming has been a growing presence, though, with the launch of domestic services such as Line Music and Rakuten Music alongside international additions from Apple, Google, and Amazon.