By Craig Wilson @ stuff.co.za.
We’ve been hearing rumours that the world’s largest streaming music service Spotify would launch in South Africa “any day now” for, well, about two years. Then, late last year, we spotted a job ad that suggested the latest batch of rumours were true. Now we’re convinced we’ll see the service before the end of March. Why? Because we’ve had an invitation to a press briefing taking place in Johannesburg next Tuesday.
There’s no question South African consumers are eager for the service. Our story on how to get Spotify in South Africa is one of our best read of recent years and not a week goes by without someone asking us when the service is launching. Given the timing of next week’s briefing we’re inclined to think you’ll be able to sign up for the service before the end of March.
So, why Spotify instead of Apple Music, Deezer or other streaming service already available in South Africa? Well, for starters, Spotify is the biggest player in the game. It has over 159 million users in 61 different markets, and of those, an impressive 71 million pay for access to Spotify Premium, the paid version of the service that doesn’t include advertisements and allows for offline downloads on three devices.
Spotify is also famous for its excellent Netflix-like recommendation engine which produces — among other things — two weekly playlists of recommendations, Monday’s “Discover Weekly” of songs the service believes you might enjoy based on other things you’ve listened to, and Friday’s “Release Radar” that offers recommendations from recent releases added to the platform.
Obviously we don’t have pricing yet or details on free trials and the like, but we expect pricing to be in line with existing services (around R70/month) and that there’ll be some sort of trial window for the curious to test the proverbial waters.