Spotify, the world’s biggest music streaming service with up to 160Million users just hit our shores…sort of. South Africa has become the first African country where Spotify is officially supported. Monday afternoon and Spotify was available on the Play Store for Android users, AppStore for iOS users and their official website was live for signups.
Spotify comes into the SA market to take on the existing players, Smify, Deezer, Apple’s Apple Music and Google’s Google Play Music. On signing up, new users get a 30-day trial of the premium plan with no strings attached. As is the case internationally, South Africans will have access to an ad-supported free plan that has limited functionality and a premium plan that enables users to skip through songs, listen offline and play any track in high-quality audio free from adverts.
Notably, the pricing for the premium plan is a lot cheaper than the western markets that Spotify is available in. Spotify Premium costs $9.99 a month in the US. In the UK, one has to part with £99 a month to become a Premium member. In South Africa, to be a premium user, one will part with a rather reasonable R60. Spotify says they had to price their premium package like they did because they realize how expensive mobile data can be and that was a bid to cushion the customers.
The South African launch comes ahead of Spotify’s plan to list in the New York Stock Exchange (NSE). Spotify hosted a press conference on Tuesday at which further details about the launch were disclosed. Speculation emerged in September 2017 on the likelihood of the launch after the company placed a job advertisement for a senior editor and music programmer for South Africa.
It will be interesting to see how Spotify performs in the SA market as it more than likely will determine the prospects of the platform in the continent.