Spotify, a renowned audio streaming platform, has announced its launch in Africa with a presence in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda as of 23 February 2021. With a global community of over 345 million monthly active listeners, Spotify is set to offer a world-class audio listening and music discovery experience to its African audience. This latest development will also make room for opportunities that will increase Africa’s streaming income, particularly with the growth and diversity of music genres in countries like Nigeria. 

The latest launch features Afrocentric genres, themes and “ starring” playlists to suit its African audience. Some of the genres include Bongo Flava, Made in Kenya, Gbedu, Naija Bars. While Paper Chase, Chill Bops, Party Dey are among the thematic playlist, it also has “This Is Tekno,” “This Is Yemi Alade,” and “ This Is Stonebwoy” as part of its starring playlists.

It also comes with an upgrade to Spotify Premium, a subscription service that offers an ad-free music listening experience. This new expansion offers its African content curators a platform to showcase their work to a global audience, and its African audience a broad range of content to choose from. 

In a statement, Alex Norström, Chief Freemium Business Officer of Spotify said, “Launching in these new markets is a key next step to fulfilling our ongoing commitment to building a truly borderless audio ecosystem.” While sharing excitement to bring together creators and listeners around the world, the company boasts of connecting over 8 million artists with listeners across nearly every continent.

With this new launch, its African audience will have access to its unrivalled mix of features including more than 70 million international and local songs, 2.2 million podcasts and over 4 billion playlists. The platform will additionally provide listeners with calculated recommendations that are personalized to each person’s audio taste. Listeners can now engage Spotify on a range of devices and apps like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Samsung, Tinder, Google Maps, Nike, and more.

As the company tailors its music experience for Africa, expertly curating and updating the platform regularly with more than 100 playlists across some of the most popular genres across the continent, it further places African content creators on a pedestal to earn from their work. With a feature known as Spotify for Artists, artists, managers, and labels are enabled to track real-time statistics for new releases, understand their audience, connect more deeply with fans, and run their business. 

Music plays a vital role in the daily lives of Africans. Songs and music are significantly infused in entertainment, religious rituals, folk tales and historic documentation. Basically, with the growth of technology and internet infrastructure, Africa’s music space is growing at a consistent and steady pace.  

According to a report by Weetracker, 25+ music streaming platforms (web and mobile) are found to operate in Africa. Of those 25+ music streaming startups, 72 percent were found to be homegrown while the remaining 28 percent are international startups that ventured into Africa. By 2024, the continent’s music streaming revenue is expected to reach a 12 percent annual growth estimated to the ton of $822 million and Spotify’s entry is definitely one step closer.

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