Spotify Finally Arrives in Egypt

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On the 14th of November 2018, the world’s biggest and most popular music streaming service, Spotify, finally launched across the Middle East and North Africa.

Ten years since it first launched and brought about one of the most significant tectonic shifts to the global music industry, Spotify is now making its debut in Egypt and the surrounding region. Its entrance to the MENA region brings an additional 13 markets to its tally, which now totals 78 markets worldwide.

While the app is available for free should users wish to not pay but be subjected to ads, the ad-free Premium service will be available to Egyptians for 49.99 EGP a month.

Cecilia Qyist, the Global Head of Markets for Spotify, said “I am super excited to share with you that, from today, Spotify is now available across the Middle East and North Africa”.

To reflect its newfound market, she revealed that Arab subscribers can view the app completely in Arabic and explore dozens of specially curated playlists featuring local musicians and regional hits with “Today’s Top Arabic Hits”, “Arabic EDM”, and “Oriental Chill Vibes” among some of the playlists specifically tuned to local tastes.

Thanks to inconsistent and expensive 3G and 4G services, Egyptian subscribers will breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the app will automatically switch to low bitrate streaming when their phones are not connected to WIFI. Spotify actually revealed this to be something they tailored specifically for the MENA region.

The 2010s has so far been a decade of unprecedented change in the global music industry. With over 191 million users worldwide, Spotify has been at the forefront of streaming becoming the most used and highest selling method of music consumption in recent years.

In 2015, music streaming surpassed CD sales in the US for the very first time. Earlier this year, The Guardian reported that in the UK, more than half the total number of albums sold were all purchased through streaming services, according to the British Phonographic Society, the national body that analyses the UK’s music industry.

Even digital download sales have been feeling the brunt of the streaming takeover. In early 2017, Reuters reported that streaming sales in the US market had grown 76 percent in 2016 to surpass digital sales for the first time.

The decline of digital downloads is even more dramatic when seen how it has compared to physical media purchases in recent years. Vinyl sales outstripped digital downloads in the UK in 2016. In the US, the Record Industry Association of America earlier this year reported that in 2017, CDs and vinyl records also outsold digital downloads for the first time in six years. The former made $1.5 billion, while the latter made $1.3 billion. Streaming services, however, made $5.7 billion, making up a third of the music industry’s total revenue.

A poll conducted in 2016 by the public opinion research company ICM, found that music fans who used streaming apps were more likely to buy vinyl records as opposed to those who didn’t, suggesting that the vinyl revival can be attributed to the rise of streaming.

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Spotify Finally Arrives in Egypt

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