Business Insider Edition

Spotify South Africa is now live - and it is much cheaper than in the US

James de Villiers , Business Insider SA
 Mar 13, 2018, 05:42 AM
Spotify's new South Africa homepage on Monday afternoon (screenshort)
  • Spotify launched in South Africa on Monday afternoon. 
  • It has a free and an ad-free R59.99 p/m version. 
  • The launch is days ahead of its listing on the New York Stock Exchange. 

Spotify South Africa launched with little fanfare in South Africa on Monday afternoon - offering a free and ad-free R59.99 p/m premium version. 

South Africa is Spotify's 64th market - and it is launching here alongside Israel and Vietnam. 

Spotify's R59.99 per month pricing matches competitors Apple Music (R59.99), Deezer (R59.99), and Joox (R59.99) - but is a whopping R50 less than what consumers would expect to pay in the United States ($9.99). 

READ: Music streaming service Spotify is finally 'coming to South Africa' next week

What makes Spotify unique is that it offers a free version where consumers can listen to songs for free, only occasionally being interrupted by adverts. Users can only download songs onto their device if they have the premium version. 

The service has more than 71-million premium-paying customers worldwide. 

Spotify launches in South Africa days before a planned listing on the New York Stock Exchange through a rare so-called "direct listing" where the company sells directly to the market. 

The Swedish company has struggled to turn a profit since its inception in 2008, but is currently valued at R224 billion ($19 billion). 

In 2017, Spotify generated R58 billion ($4.99 billion) in revenue but posted R19 billion ($1.5 billion) in losses.

The service blamed excessive royalty fees for its loses. Spotify pays 70% of its total revenue to rights holders. 

In its founder's letter to investors, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek promised to make users "empathise" with each other and to "feel part of a greater whole". 

READ: Spotify's 35-year old co-founder wrote an emotional letter to investors

"We really do believe that we can improve the world, one song at a time," he wrote in the 1,259-word letter. 

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