Global music streaming service Spotify has officially launched its services in South Africa this week.
The Swedish music streaming giant makes South Africa its first market on the African continent, launching its service in the country ahead of further expansion into other parts of the continent, according to Techcentral.
Spotify allows users to browse, discover, and curate playlists, build their own music collection and share music with friends from a catalogue of over 35 million songs.
It also benefits the artists featured on the platform, who earn royalties from the streaming of their songs, while local artists will be given a platform for their music to reach more listeners.
World’s biggest music streaming service in SA
Michael Krause, managing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Spotify, spoke about the company’s intention to expand into other parts of Africa, but did not give further details about the markets involved.
“In terms of other African countries we are always looking at the market for when is the right time in terms of catalogue, connectivity etc,” Krause said at a press conference in Johannesburg, according to ITWebAfrica.
“Africa is a great continent and we are definitely looking to launch in more countries. Our product is mobile-centric and this is why we chose to start our journey here,” he added.
Spotify currently has over 159 million active users, including over 71 million Spotify Premium subscribers, offering a choice between a free ad-supported music service and a fully-featured, ad-free subscription option known as Spotify Premium, according to Businesstech.
Streaming is now the dominant form of music consumption globally, and the high penetration of mobile in South Africa will make it accessible to South Africans from all walks of life.
The South Africa launch comes as Spotify prepares for a direct listing for its shares on the New York Stock Exchange.
Safaricom enters music streaming arena
Kenyan mobile operator Safaricom recently announced the launch of its music streaming servicecalled SONGA, according to ITNewsAfrica.
The service allows music-lovers in Kenya the ability to stream their favorite music from local and international artists, while providing a platform through which artists will be able to sell their music and make it available to consumers on a large scale.
The SONGA for Safaricom app curates, codifies and classifies vernacular, local and international music catalogue with over two million songs from as many as 400,000 artists.