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Spotify targets Africa for music streaming growth

10/15/2021 | 10:17am EST

Spotify reckons Africa could be the next big market for music streaming.

It's crucial to the Swedish app's goal of a billion users.

The problem is how to handle payments on a continent where many people don't have bank accounts.

Mobile phone companies may have the answer.

In Kenya, Spotify has teamed up with mobile payments app M-Pesa, owned by local network Safaricom.

Phiona Okumu is Spotify's head of music in sub-saharan Africa:

"Some parts of Africa, a lot of African countries are unbanked so that means they don't use credit cards and this is very true of a lot of East Africa. In Kenya, you use M-Pesa for the most part. So we ensured to make sure that there was that facility so that the fans don't have so many barriers to access to the music which is something we should all be able to enjoy."

Spotify isn't alone in teaming up with phone networks.

African rivals such as Nigeria's Boomplay are making similar moves.

Content creators seem to welcome the arrival of the streaming firms.

Charles Otieno is a music producer in Kenya:

"So when it came to Kenya now we can access 'Spotify for Artists', you can see the logs, you can see how your music is basically growing."

The new products see phone firms selling music bundles that give subscribers access to streaming firms' content.

That should boost revenue for performers, and subscriber numbers for the streamers.


ę Reuters 2021
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