Spotify is coming to South Africa

Written by on September 21, 2017

The “Spotify is not currently available in your country” browser message may soon be a thing of the past in South Africa. This after the streaming service posted an ad for a ‘Senior Editor/Music Programmer – South Africa’, effectively letting the cat out of the bag regarding the company’s plans for the continent.

It’s no speculation that Spotify’s entry into the South African market would be the company’s first foray towards a potentially lucrative expansion drive into Africa’s other big music markets – in particular Nigeria and Kenya. There was, however, no confirmation about the exact launch date when Music In Africa contacted Spotify to elaborate past the job posting, although insiders believe the service will open its doors to users in South Africa “in the next few months”.

Spotify’s arrival in South Africa follows music streaming services such as Deezer, Google Play and Apple Music, who have already made a notable footprint on the country’s market. Last month, South African telecoms provider Telkom announced a no-data deal for its FreeMe clients, which sees users streaming music and video for free when using services such as Google Play, Apple Music, Simfy Africa, Showmax, Netflix and YouTube.

Spotify is entering the market at a time when music streaming revenue is on the rise. Earlier this year a report by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) said total South African streaming revenue increased from $1 877 000 in 2015 to $8 150 000 in 2016, which constitutes a massive growth of 334.2% in just one year. This bodes well for new players looking to claim a piece of the music streaming pie in Africa’s most developed economy.

The Spotify ad says the new recruit will join the company’s Shows and Editorial team, responsible for South Africa, in London or Dubai. It said the editor would “play a senior editorial role in the daily programming for South Africa and curate a large number of varied playlists”.

Spotify, which was developed by startup Spotify AB in Stockholm, Sweden, in late 2008, is a freemium service available in most of Europe, the Americas, Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia. It boasts a catalogue of more than 30 million songs, roughly the same number as its biggest competitor, Apple Music.


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