Global music streaming pioneer, Spotify has announced that it will be expanding to over 80 new markets across Africa, the Caribbean, Asia, Europe, and Latin America in a few days; thus, establishing footprints in a total of 180 markets.
Being its largest expansion so far, this means the platform will now be accessible to more than half of the world, thereby adding 36 new languages to the existing 24.
For Africa, this seems like a long-overdue move. Before now, most African users could only access Spotify via VPN – save for those in South Africa where it launched in 2018, Morrocco, Egypt, Algeria, and Tunisia.
By capturing 41 new African countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana, more Africans can now access free and premium Spotify plans to enjoy their favourite songs and podcasts on the platform.
Following this expansion, the company will also introduce new features and upgrade its podcast catalogue to fit into the new markets.
Spotify is arguably the largest music streaming platform in the world. As of Q3 2020, Spotify had about 144 million paid subscribers, according to Statista. In 2018, it added some new features fit for emerging markets like a free mobile subscription plan and access to on-demand songs initially available only to paid subscribers.
It is worthy to note that Spotify is coming to the African market to compete with other global streaming platforms like Audiomack, YouTube Music, Apple Music, Shazam, and Deezer, and local platforms like Boomplayand MTN’s MusicTime!.
In 2020 alone, with few months apart, Audiomack and YouTube Music entered Nigeria.
With all these big names now present in most parts of the continent, it appears all eyes are on Africa and there’s a perceived large market for music streaming here. This is easy to expect probably because of the enviable music talent stream known in the region, especially in Nigeria.
But the current reality remains that all these platforms may be left to scramble for a fraction of the population that can access streaming services. Even though Africa is taking up relatively high smartphone traffic, Internet penetration is still low.