Spotify Launches Its Services in the Middle East
Full Acces For Middle East Users
Spotify has reportedly launched in thirteen Arab countries. The countries include Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. With the launch, the company stated that users in thisregion will be able to fully access Spotify as well as an Arabic Spotify service that is fully localized.
Before now, those who wanted to use Spotify in the region could only access the services by making use of accounts that were registered in other regions. The statement released by the company also revealed that it has plans to launch another platform on the app to make offering Arabic music all around the world a possibility.
Spotify Competitors In The Middle East
Its movement into this region brings Spotify in competition with Deezer. Deezer is a French company supported by Alwaleed bin Talal, and it is struggling for a market made up of over 300 million individuals.
Sometime in August, the French company signed an agreement with a media company based in Saudi known as Rotana. Prince Alwaleed is the owner of this company and the exclusive agreement is for the distribution of its content. Kingdom Holding Company which also belongs to Alwaleed paid the sum of $267 million to for a stake in the French company as that was part of the deal.
Spotify’s competition in that region isn’t only Deezer. Both music streaming companies will be in competition with Anghami. Anghami is a Beirut-based music streaming service that launched as far back as 2012.
The company has been taking steps to combat pirated music in the region. Its offerings include licensed Arabic as well as international music from diverse labels including Sony and Universal. At the moment, its users are over 70 million.
While speaking to a media outlet, the co-founder of Anghami, Eddy Maroun, said the company welcomes competition as it fosters the education of the market and also the growth of the entire segment to improve the health of the music ecosystem. He also added that the head start of the company and its localization will continue to provide it with natural advantage.
A lot of people took to Twitter to air theiropinions about the arrival of Spotify in theMiddle East. A Saudi Arabia radio host said that Spotify’s arrival in the Arab states increased thepossibility of getting best from Anghami.
Spotify In Other Regions
Including its launch in the Arab region, Spotify now operates in about 78 markets all around the world. The scope of its market operations extends to South Africa where its launch took place earlier in the year.
Spotify was founded sometime in 2008. As at April, its valuation was nearly at $30 billion and that was when it listed its shares on the NSE.
In addition to the UAE, its services have also been made available in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Palestine, Algeria, Bahrain, Jordan and Lebanon. In the United Arab Emirates, the premium price for a month has been fixed at $5.44, in Saudi Arabia, the price for that same premium service is at $5.33. In Egypt as well as the other regions, the price is $2.79.
According to sources, the prices are determined by Spotify based on the GDP of a particular market. The prices in these markets are less expensive than what obtains in a lot of other markets. For instance, in the UK, the price is at $12.98, in France its at $11.28 and in the US, it is at $9.99. Some of the features Spotify introduced in this region includes curated local playlists that are regularly updated.
The company’s executives have expressed hope that the launch of the service would help to reduce pirated music in the region. They have, however, refused to comment on the total number of users they are looking to get on board.
According to the Spotify managing director for the region, Clauduus Boller, the Middle East is a representation of what the company considers to be untapped opportunity. Boller also added that the region has one of the youngest populationsworldwide. Also, with the current figures and stats concerning the penetration of smartphone and Internet, they have concluded that this moment is the ideal time to launch the service in the region.
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