Technology

Audio streaming service Spotify launches in Kenya

spotify

The opening numbers are displayed on the floor during the Spotify IPO at the Dow Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange on April 3, 2018 in New York. PHOTO | AFP

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Summary

  • Kenyans will now join the over 345 million monthly active listeners to stream popular music and podcasts on the free platform. The platform also has a premium subscription that offers ad-free streaming.
  • Unlike other popular web-based services such as Google and Facebook, the service has geographical restriction with consumers accessing its services where the Swedish firm has set shop.
  • This is partly because the company licenses content producers and artistes which requires physical presence.

Swedish audio streaming service Spotify has launched in Kenya and four other African countries.

Kenyans will now join the over 345 million monthly active listeners to stream popular music and podcasts on the free platform. The platform also has a premium subscription that offers ad-free streaming.

“African creators have always pushed boundaries, innovating and creating incredible sounds and starting from today we are giving them access and the opportunity to connect with a global audience of fans,” said Phiona Okumu, Spotify head of music sub-Sahara Africa.

Unlike other popular web-based services such as Google and Facebook, the service has geographical restriction with consumers accessing its services where the Swedish firm has set shop.

This is partly because the company licenses content producers and artistes which requires physical presence.

Before Kenya launch, Spotify was only available in South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia, where it launched in 2018, on the continent.

Other users in the region could only access the streaming service via Virtual Private Network (VPN) that bypasses geographical restrictions.

Kenyans have the option of upgrading to Spotify Premium for Sh299 per month. Spotify Premium Duo, a subscription for two users is Sh389 per month while the Premium Family for up to six people living under one roof is Sh479.

The firm will offer its new premium subscribers one month of free streaming.

The company said in a statement Wednesday that Kenyan audience will have access to Spotify’s Afro genre hub that encompasses a wide range of African music, including AmaPiano Grooves, Afropop, African Heat, Phenomenal Woman.

Kenyans will also be treated to popular Bongo Flava tunes, local hits and more.

Users can opt for a mobile app or accessing the service online.

“We hope our new listeners are going to love the revolutionary audio experience we are bringing to the rest of the continent,” Ms Okumu said.

The New York Stock Exchange-listed firm has also expanded to Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania as it looks to enter other markets in the region.

Reuters on Monday had reported that the company would launch in 85 new markets, targeting to reach a billion listeners by close of the year.

Spotify joins other streaming apps in the market including Apple Music, BoomPlay and Deezer.

The company, founded in Sweden in 2008, streams across 93 markets spread in all the continents. 

It has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to boost its podcast range, which now has more than 2.2 million podcast titles, including "The Michelle Obama Podcast" and one by Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan.