The streaming platform Spotify will now have the opportunity to reach out to an additional one billion customers as the company plans to expand its business and launch its services in 85 new markets.
The company made the announcement during a live streaming event that featured Justin Bieber, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. A new advertising marketplace for podcasts and a new higher sound-quality subscription service was also announced by Spotify.
Developing countries in Asia, Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean will be the most of the new target markets for the company.
“Together these markets represent more than a billion people, with nearly half of them already using the internet,” said Spotify spokesman Alex Norstrom. “Some of the places we’re going like Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nigeria have the fastest growing internet populations in the world,” he added.
The company had amassed millions of new subscribers through its previous expansion drive into the Indian, Russian and the Middle East markets.
With 345 million monthly active users, the Swedish company which was founded over a decade ago, is currently available in 93 countries.
There has been criticism of the company over its policy of streaming royalties, which many musicians say are inadequate, even though the services of Spotify are enormously popular.
Increased competition has refrained the company from raising its subscription prices and therefore enhancing its revenues has come to be dependent on the addition of subscribers or by enticing new customers by streaming different types of content, according to Andrew Milroy, director of technology advisory firm Veqtor8.
“They face a significant threat from Apple, Amazon and Google, and they want to extend their differentiators and add more localisation in the markets they operate in,” he said.
A new podcast advertising marketplace will also be created by the company, Spotify also announced. This new platform will allow advertisers to purchase from a network of original exclusive and independent podcasts. For Spotify’s strategy, podcasts are an essential component which helps the services to differentiate from those of its competitors.
Milroy said that Spotify is diversifying into areas like podcasts, audio books, and meditation as a part of its strategy to maintain its position as the “category leader” in audio.
“The margin they currently have for music alone is very thin, so they have to move into other areas,” he said.
With more than 2.2 million titles currently, hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent by the company to boost its range of podcasts.
An agreement for multiple podcast series with AGBO, a company that is headed by the makers of films like “Avengers: Infinity War”, was announced by Spotify on Monday. the company will also gain access to a range of narrative-scripted podcasts through a deal that it has signed Warner Bros and DC, as well as to a new show from Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company featuring Bruce Springsteen.
Spotify’s podcasts already include “The Michelle Obama Podcast” and one by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan.
(Adapted from BBC.com)