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Spotify expanding to dozens more African countries

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Music streaming service Spotify is expanding to 80 more countries and half of them are in Africa.

The global streaming platform announced the "sweeping expansion" this week, saying it would bring the audio streaming subscription service to over 80 new markets across Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America, representing more than 1 billion people.

It is also adding 36 languages to the platform.

The 40 African countries on the list are: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Spotify launched in South Africa in March 2018 and made a big push into the Middle East and North Africa in November 2018 including launches in Morocco, Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia.

Other African users have had to use VPNs to access the service.

The markets Spotify plans to expand to first.   Source:  Spotify
The markets Spotify plans to expand to first.
Source: Spotify

Spotify said the expansion "will help ensure that sounds and stories that once remained local can reach a global audience."

"Our dedication to international artists and listeners is unwavering. Working closely with local creators and partners, we'll deliver a Spotify experience that meets the unique needs of each market, with scaled language translations and specialized payment formats. These 80+ markets represent more than 1 billion people — potential Spotify listeners who have yet to tap into the power of our platform," it added.

"In each new market, we will work with local creators and partners to expand our music offerings and deliver a Spotify experience that meets the unique needs of each market."

Music streaming is becoming big business in Africa with international brands like YouTube Music, Apple Music and Deezer gaining subscribers in recent years while local services such as MTN MusicTime, Simfy Africa, MusikBi, Boomplay and many more are seeing success as well.

Spotify said free and premium plans will be available across all of the new markets, and in select markets there will also be individual, family, duo and student plan options.

Spotify will offer its full global catalog in the new markets. The company said it will also continuously work with local rights holders and partners to expand its catalog to include more local offerings.

In the majority of the markets, Spotify also plans to launch with its full podcast catalog.

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*Top image source: Photo Mix from Pixabay.

— The Staff, Connecting Africa

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