Spotify streams its way into Africa


Global music streaming provider Spotify is set to debut in Africa Tuesday with the launch of of its services in South Africa.

The Swedish company, launched in 2008 and available in more than 60 countries, is the biggest music streaming company in the world and counts services from Apple Inc, Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google Play as its main rivals.

The South Africa launch comes as Spotify prepares for a direct listing for its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, which will let investors and employees sell shares without the company raising new capital or hiring Wall Street banks to underwrite the issue. The move is logical next step for the music streaming service. In recent years Africa has seen a rapid uptake of smartphones and improving telecommunications infrastructure.

Further details about the South Africa service, pricing and content will be announced on Tuesday, the company said.

An increase in connectivity across South Africa, helped by higher investment in infrastructure, as well as a growing uptake in credit cards and bank accounts has drawn global video and music streaming providers.

South Africa’s music streaming market is currently dominated by players such as Apple Music, Google Play, France’s Deezer and Simfy Africa.  A few smaller, local players such as mobile phone operator’s MTN and Cell C with MTN Music+ and Black compete for the remaining sets of ears.