"The home of music is here" were the words of Spotify managing director Michael Krause at the company's South African launch on Tuesday. Spotify, the largest global music streaming service, is now available on the African continent.
Here is what Spotify is about, and how it compares to different music-streaming platforms.
Spotify in numbers
Launched: 2008 in Sweden
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more
Users: More than 159-million active users
Subscribers: More than 71-million subscription users
Songs: More than 35-million tracks in the catalogue
Playlist: More than 2-billion playlists available
Global reach: 65 markets, including South Africa
Spotify Premium: R59.99 per month
Spotify Free: R0
Premium vs Free
Spotify comes with various special features likely to lure music lovers in: for the ultimate experience, premium subscriptions will cost R59.99.
That premium price matches local offerings from Google, Apple, Simfy Africa, Deezer and others.
It comes with a free 30-day trial to the premium service, similar to that of Apple Music. Spotify free allows users to listen to free music forever, but at the expense of ads popping up.
Spotify uses 10.8MB of data per hour while streaming music, compared to 43.2MB per hour that is the lowest reported data-consumption rate available on other music streaming services, according to Android Central.
A platform for artists
Spotify is not only for listeners, but artists as well. The app allows anyone and everyone to share their playlists with their followers, allowing artists to give everyone an idea of their music.
For aspiring artists, there is a dashboard option that allows them to track down the exact listenership, and the number of people have downloaded the track. It brings the artist and fans closer to each other, and gives newcomer performers access to millions of music fans.
In terms of remuneration, local artists can only earn money by having their songs licensed to Spotify – this will also include royalties.
Spotify delivers music for every taste and mood – instant access to a wide range of local playlists curated and regularly updated by a team of music experts, including Hip Hop Juice, Top Hits South Africa, House Nation, iGqom Le and SA Gold, alongside millions of Spotify and fan-built international playlists.
The app will soon launch a "Discover Weekly" option giving music updates every Monday to keep users up to date with new music.
Users can personalise their playlists – Spotify's personalisation option can find music they already love with ease, based on their listening patterns and taste in music. The app first takes users through a "taste onboarding" process that helps find out what they love.
Gamers:listen while they play
With Spotify available on PlayStation Music™, users can enjoy streaming music on PlayStation 4 and XBox while gaming. They can listen to any song, album or playlist on demand, or even control Spotify through the quick menu without interrupting the game.
- Offline listening for premium users: they simply download their music to their mobile device or desktop when online, to enjoy while offline.
- Users can share their playlists and favourite songs from the app and become influencers in their own right.
- Charts: Global streaming charts are currently included; South Africa charts coming soon.
- They can play everywhere, if they download the Spotify app on mobile, laptop and tablet
Users enjoy a 30-day free trial when signing up for Spotify Premium with a credit or debit card (Visa & Mastercard)