Apple Music hits 38m subscribers

Spotify Sets Public Debut for April 2, Reports Say: LIVE MARKETS BLOG

Smart speakers are music streaming's new battleground

Just weeks out from its public listing on the New York Stock Exchange, Spotify resumes its quest for world domination by rolling out its service in a string of new markets.

In the first stage, Spotify will not offer its family and students plans but they will become available at a later date.

Cost of revenue - which mainly consists of royalty paid to music record labels and music publishers - rose 49 percent in 2016, but just 27 percent previous year, the company's documents showed. Like Apple Music, Spotify's premium service is also priced at $9.99 per month.

Spotify pays fees to music publishing companies such as Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Warner Music and Vivendi's Universal Music Group who act for artists ranging from Justin Timberlake to unknown indie bands in exchange for a commission.

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.

Almost 60 percent of Spotify's monthly users were ad-supported subscribers in 2017.

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Founded in 2006 by Ek and Martin Lorentzon in the staid Stockholm suburb of Ragsved, the firm now has 71 million paying customers worldwide, twice that of closest rival Apple Music.

There may still be problems ahead.

"Listeners describe music in different ways, and understanding that information will help improve, extend, and confirm the information that describes music on Spotify", a Spotify spokesperson said.

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

South Africans already have a wide choice of streaming options, from Google Play Music to Apple Music, and Simfy Africa to Deezer.

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