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Wed 14 Nov 2018 09:40 AM

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Spotify launches in the Middle East and North Africa

A premium subscription costs AED19.99 per month in the UAE and SAR19.99 in Saudi Arabia

Spotify launches in the Middle East and North Africa
In the UAE, premium prices per month has been set at AED19.99 ($5.44), compared to SAR19.99 ($5.33) in Saudi Arabia, EGP49.99 ($2.79) in Egypt and $4.99 for the rest of the MENA region.

Music streaming subscription service Spotify has officially launched in the Middle East and North Africa with specific Arabic content for local listeners, it was announced on Tuesday.

The news that Spotify – which has 191 million subscribers around the world – was first reported by Arabian Business in May.

“Spotify is launching in MENA with a full Arabic service, dozens of locally-curated playlists for every mood and moment, and access to a full catalogue  of millions of songs, for both our free and premium users,” said Cecilia Qvist, Spotify’s global head of markets.

Aside from the UAE, Spotify is now also available in Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan, Oman, Bahrain and Palestine.

In the UAE, premium prices per month has been set at AED19.99 ($5.44), compared to SAR19.99 ($5.33) in Saudi Arabia, EGP49.99 ($2.79) in Egypt and $4.99 for the rest of the MENA region.

The prices – which Spotify determines based on a particular market’s GDP – are cheaper than in many other markets, such as the United States ($9.99), UK ($12.98) and France ($11.28).

Among the features of Spotify in the MENA region are curated and regularly updated local playlists, such as “Today’s Top Arabic Hits” and ‘Arabic EDM”.

Spotify, however, faces competition in the region, where Apple Music and France-based Deezer already operate, in addition to local players such as Lebanon-based Anghami.

In an interview with Music Ally, Spotify EMEA managing director Michael Krause said that he also believes that Spotify’s presence in the region may help spread locally produced content further afield.

“There are 57 million Arabs living in the diaspora, in the US but also strongly in Europe: the UK, France, Germany,” he said. “Maybe the next ‘Despacito’ will come from the Middle East. The fundaments are ready for it to go.”