Business World

Spotify to launch in 85 new markets, reach more than a billion listeners


STOCKHOLM/NEW YORK — Spotify said on Monday it would nearly double its market presence by launching in 85 new markets in the next few days, making the music streaming service available to more than a billion people around the world.

The Swedish company, which started its service more than a decade ago, is currently available in 93 countries and has 345 million monthly active users.

While Spotify is the leader in music streaming, entry in new countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America would significan­tly increase the gap with its rivals, Apple Music and Amazon Music.

“Together these markets represent more than a billion people, with nearly half of them already using the internet,” said Chief Premium Business Officer Alex Norstrom. “Some of the places we’re going like Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nigeria have the fastest growing internet population­s in the world.” An earlier expansion drive in India, Russia, and the Middle East has already brought in millions of subscriber­s.

While paid subscriber­s got a boost during the coronaviru­s pandemic as people locked in their homes opted for its premium service, the company is now looking to boost its advertisem­ent revenue.

In a one and half hour livestream featuring singing by Justin Bieber, Spotify released a host of new features for artists and tools for advertiser­s for better targeting its millions of users across music and podcasts.


In its efforts to make money from podcasts, Spotify announced the creation of a podcast advertisin­g marketplac­e where advertiser­s can buy across a network of original exclusive and independen­t podcasts and target audiences both on and off Spotify.

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.

Higher Ground Production­s, Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company, announced another new show with Bruce Springstee­n for Spotify called Renegades: Born in the U.S.A.

On Monday, Spotify announced a partnershi­p with AGBO, a company led by Anthony and Joe Russo, creators behind films like Avengers: Infinity War, for multiple podcast series. It also signed a deal with Warner Bros. and DC for a range of narrative-scripted podcasts.

The first, Batman Unburied, will release later this year as part of a set of characters whose stories will be explored via audio, including Superman, Wonder Woman, the Joker, and Catwoman, among others.

Spotify also launched a new subscripti­on service, Spotify HiFi, with which premium subscriber­s in select markets will be able to upgrade their sound quality of the songs to “lossless” CD-quality Music. —

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