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Spotify to launch in South Africa this month


Spotify to launch in South Africa this month

South Africans will later this month finally be able to legally subscribe and stream music on Spotify.

The service announced its estimated $1-billion initial public offering in February.

Its local launch was one of the worst-kept secrets after the Swedish company, which is considered the gold standard of this new genre of music streaming, posted an advert in September 2017 for a “senior editor/music programmer — South Africa”.

On Tuesday, Spotify sent out an e-mail, effectively confirming the launch, saying: “Spotify has some news to share. Please join us on Tuesday, March 13 to catch all the details.”

Like its unusual business model, which has attracted 71 million premium-paying customers in 61 countries, Spotify intends to list on the New York Stock Exchange using a direct listing, which omits the usual roadshows and hefty adviser fees.

The listing is considered a possible test case for other brands such as Uber and Airbnb when they eventually decide to go public.

Spotify offers tiers of music streaming — from free to premium at $10 a month — and says that it controls 42 percent of the global music-streaming market, which it claims is double that of its closest rival, Apple Music.

Of its 159-million customers, its premium users grew 46 percent in 2017 to 71 million, according to its filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Its revenue in 2017 was $4.99-billion, up from $3.6-billion in 2016. But is operating losses grew to $461-million in 2017, from $426-million the year before.

The cost for the digital music service in South Africa is unknown.

A Spotify spokesman confirmed next week’s event but would make no further comment.

Spotify offers clever music recommendations and playlists.

Discover Weekly (released on a Monday) and Release Radar (on Fridays) are personalised playlists that suggest 30 songs each to every user.

Asuquo Eton founded, now one of the most visited TV, music, tech and features website, in 2011. He is also a social media analyst, media and entertainment consultant.

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