Thailand’s Plern topping Spotify, Apple Music in the Kingdom


It is the streaming equivalent of David versus Goliath. Plern, a music streaming service in Thailand is overtaking Spotify and Apple Music in local popularity because it caters more to Thai tastes.

The success of Plern may provide a blueprint for how other firms can compete in the Kingdom against global giants that dominate their markets. Plern is a partnership between GMM Grammy, one of the premier entertainment companies in the Kingdom and Tuned Global, an Australian firm that builds streaming platforms, including the platform for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Since launching in November of last year, Plern achieved one million app downloads by February and became the number streaming app on Google Play in Thailand during the same month.

Although Spotify has been in the Thai market since 2017, it leaves out artists and genres that command large followings in the Kingdom.

“Fifty-five percent of the Thai market is country, or luk thung local music,” Asawin Rojmethatawee, Vice President of Music Streaming Business at GMM Grammy and head of Plern. “Spotify did not focus on that genre as much.”

Con Raso, Managing Director of Tuned Global, told the Digital Music website that  the Thai market is more varied and has more niches than most outsiders realize. Tastes can vary widely between urban and rural listeners, for instance. What is big in Bangkok may not mean much in northeastern Mukdahan province.

“Culturally, Thailand is really diverse,” Raso said. “What you are building is not just for the main cities.”

Digital Music said the Thai streaming market is still in its infancy, and so is Plern, and perhaps future competitors, still have plenty of room to grow – if they take Thai tastes into account.

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