Dubai: Music streaming service Spotify is preparing to launch across the Middle East and North Africa in November, according to an internal company email reviewed by Gulf News.
Spotify will join the likes of Apple Music and local player Anghami when it becomes available later this year, with the Swedish company currently searching for advertisers ahead of its roll-out in the region, the email said.
In an email sent to staff at a Dubai-based advertising agency and provided to Gulf News, a senior media executive is quoted describing how Spotify is looking for six brands to advertise, at a cost of $200,000 (Dh734,500) each, ahead of the platform’s November launch.
Spotify did not respond to requests for comment on this story.
Meanwhile, the company is continuing its recruitment drive in the region, advertising for a Dubai-based ‘CRM (customer relationship management) and social manager’ on LinkedIn.
Earlier this year, Spotify began hiring for a number of positions locally, indicating an imminent regional launch.
In February, it also disclosed in public documents that it had leased a number of regional offices, including one in the UAE.
Notably absent throughout the Arab world — especially since the launch of rival platforms — industry analysts have suggested that music licensing issues may have delayed Spotify’s arrival.
The advertising executive quoted in the email said that he expected most of the six advertising slots to be sold within a week, indicating a high level of confidence among brands that Spotify will attract listeners when it goes live in November.
On April 3, 2018, the Stockholm-headquartered company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at $165.90 a share, valuing the company at about $29 billion.
Spotify’s business model relies on a combination of advertising and paid subscriptions. In 2017, Spotify earned €4.1 billion in revenues, although losses rose to €324 million.
Operating across 65 markets, Spotify continues to be unavailable in a number of key territories, including India, Russia, and most of Africa.
By 2023, Morgan Stanley predicts Spotify will have 53 million paid subscribers in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, compared with just 11 million this year.