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Mon 17 Dec 2018 10:59 AM

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Spotify puts aside profitability to focus on growing MENA users

Spotify is also concentrating on educating artists on monetisation

Spotify puts aside profitability to focus on growing MENA users
Spotify launched in MENA just one month after French rival Deezer officially expanded to the region.

Audio streaming platform Spotify is setting aside profitability to focus on attracting new users in MENA following its launch in the region last month.

The launch in the region came months after it went public on the New York Stock Exchange in April with a market cap of just under $30 billion.

Speaking to Arabian Business, Spotify’s managing director of MEA said the firm is also concentrating on "giving back" to artists.

“We’re not focusing on profitability at the moment. We’re focusing on boarding new users in the region… Every business wants to make a return, but Spotify is giving back a lot of money to labels and artists,” said Claudius Boller.

He added that while Spotify has seen tremendous growth in users, it wants to support local artists on monetisation.

“We want to grow closely with the local artist community. There is a lack of education for artists about how they can monetise and get paid for their art and work in the new digital age,” he said.

Spotify launched in MENA just one month after French rival Deezer officially expanded to the region with a $266 million investment from Al Waleed Bin Talal through his wholly-owned subsidiary and largest record label in the region Rotana Music.

Other competition includes Beirut-born streaming platform Anghami, which launched in 2012 and held the majority of the local music market share, as well as Apple and YouTube.

Boller, however, said he is not worried about competition, as the market is "far from saturation" and remains undersized even in developing markets, where many users are just now getting onto digital streaming platforms.