Payment Methods

Boku Gives Carrier Billing To Spotify In Japan

Just over a month after Spotify launched in Japan, the music streaming company has announced that it and mobile payments platform Boku are introducing carrier billing options for Spotify Premium subscribers in the nation of 127.3 million.

In partner with the three largest mobile carriers in the nation — Docomo, KDDI and Softbank — Spotify and Boku will allow 158 million Japanese mobile subscribers to pay for Spotify Premium via their phone bill.

(Yes, that figure is correct. Many people in Japan have more than one mobile subscription.)

San Francisco–based Boku is the world’s leader in carrier billing technology — it boasts over 260 carrier connections and currently reaches 4 billion mobile subscribers in 70 worldwide. Boku Direct allows merchants to process one-time and recurring payments using their own checkout.

This move expands on Boku’s existing global partnership with Spotify. The two had previously launched carrier billing options for Spotify in the U.K., Germany, Italy and, most recently, Switzerland.

Spotify is currently the most successful music streaming service in the world, with more than 100 million active users in 50 countries. Its premium service also has the most paid subscribers of any music streaming, with 40 million and counting.

Spotify is reportedly gearing up to launch an initial public offering in the second half of 2017 — although it has yet to net much money after nearly a decade in business. This is largely due to a number of fees it pays out annually to the music industry — mostly to Universal, Sony and Warner, which combined take about half of Spotify’s sales.

Some believe that Spotify, with its extensive user base, could be able to successfully branch out into other entertainment media, including video content.



B2B APIs aren’t just for large enterprises anymore — middle-market firms and SMBs now realize their potential for enabling low-cost access to real-time payments and account data. But those capabilities are only the tip of the API iceberg, says HSBC global head of liquidity and cash management Diane Reyes. In this month’s B2B API Tracker, Reyes explains how the next wave of banking APIs could fight payments fraud and proactively alert middle-market treasurers to investment opportunities.

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