Spotify is launching its services in South Africa. With the increase of smartphone usage, the company is looking to make headway across the continent.

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Spotify has 159 million monthly active users

It's first entry into the African market

CNN  — 

The music streaming company Spotify has launched in South Africa, its first entry into Africa.

The company is making its services available at a time when smartphone use is becoming more widespread.

Spotify now operates in over 60 countries and is the most popular streaming service in the world.

The Swedish company was founded in 2008. The launch in South Africa comes as the organization anticipates a direct listing of its shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

Spotify has 159 million monthly active users and 35 million songs on its platform.

Will South Africa tune in?

“Africa as a continent is the origin of music, ” Claudius Boller, the Managing Director for The Middle East and Africa, told CNN. “We are really excited to be launching in South Africa now.”

Apple Music and a couple of other local music streaming services are already operating in South Africa.

Spotify plans to make a musical offering bespoke for the country. “We are working with an absolutely brilliant team of local music curators,” Boller said.

Musicians and songwriters have previously criticized Spotify for being unfairly compensated. Boller responded, “Spotify globally really wants to help artists live off their art.”

Boller said that in South Africa the physical music market was stronger than the global average, but that he believes, “people really want to have access to music at their fingertips.”

In 2017, Research ICT Africa reported mobile internet data packages – needed to stream music online – remain expensive in South Africa, ranking 25 out of 49 African countries.

Boller said Spotify hopes to overcome streaming concerns by offering data-light functions and offline premium subscriptions.

With an already competitive market and barriers to internet accessibility, Spotify will hope that listeners tune in.