Popular music streaming service, Spotify, has finally made its entry into Africa with a launch in South Africa.
Africa is “the home continent of music historically,” Spotify MD of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Michael Krause said as the world’s largest streaming service launched in South Africa. “This is our first African country, our first step onto this continent. It’s really great to be here,” he told me at the launch in Johannesburg.
“It’s very important to have local playlists and local music available,” he told me, explaining why it has taken time to launch in Africa. There are plans for other countries in Africa, but no specific plans have been announced yet.
The premium service will cost R60 ($5), which Krause says is well-positioned for affordability and was set after discussions with the music labels.
“Africa is exciting for us and we want to be in more countries but we have to look at which,” he says. Part of the process includes curating local music and playlists. “We want locally relevant stuff so that people feel at home. If you just launch an international product, It is not something that we want to do.”
Spotify has 159-million users worldwide, of which 71-million pay for the premium service. It has 35-million songs and 2-billion playlists.
Claudius Boller, Spotify’s MD of the MENA region who looks after day-to-day operation and strategy for Africa, says the free service will play three minutes of advertising in an hour of listening.
“This free tier allows people to listen to music, and allows them to move into the premium,” when they are ready or want to save music offline, which is a premium feature.