The Spotify logo seen on a mobile device. The firm is set to expand into new markets including Kenya.
The Spotify logo seen on a mobile device. The firm is set to expand into new markets including Kenya.

Kenya is among 80 new markets Spotify is set to launch in  as the audio streaming giant expands its international footprint.

The company announced on Monday, February 22 that it was eyeing over a billion potential new users in markets across Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America.

Many Kenyans already use Spotify, but are forced to sneakily do so using VPNs as the service is not available in the region. The firm has in recent years faced harsh criticism from African artists, fans and lobby groups for distributing African music while the service remains inaccessible on the continent, and news of the expansion will no doubt be music to their ears.

“Spotify is embarking on a sweeping expansion that will introduce the world’s most popular audio streaming subscription service available to more than a billion people in 80+ new markets around the world, and add 36 languages to our platform. These moves represent Spotify’s broadest market expansion to date,” a statement from the company read in part.

Spotify revealed that in the new markets, it would offer free and premium subscription plans, its full global music catalog, podcasts and the Spotify user experience on multiple platforms.

Spotify pages displayed on multiple devices
Spotify pages displayed on multiple devices

The firm noted that in select markets, they would offer individual, Family, Duo, and Student Plan options.

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Listeners will also be able to select and search from Spotify’s worldwide catalog, with the home screen displaying personalized playlist programming for new listeners.

Numerous other African countries are among the new markets, including Nigeria, Ghana, Chad, Cameroon, Senegal, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Eswatini, Gabon and Angola.

The move is expected to fuel growth of popular emerging genres such as Gengetone and Amapiano, while making it easier for artists to access a global audience.

Spotify’s freemium model has a free tier in which listeners can enjoy content on the platform, but have to put up with ads.

It’s paid tiers have no ads and offer other extra features.

Spotify was founded in 2006 in Stockholm, Sweden, by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon as a legal alternative to illegal music streaming which had almost killed the traditional record business as the internet became widely accessible.

As of the third quarter of 2020, Spotify had 144 million premium subscribers worldwide, up from 113 million in the corresponding quarter of 2019.

It has over 286 million monthly active users and can lay claim to 36% of the global streaming market, competing with the likes of Apple Music, Youtube, Deezer and Pandora.

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