Digital

Coming very very soon: Spotify in the Middle East and North Africa

Looks like the holidays have come early - Spotify seems to be doing a silent launch across select countries in the region. It was only few weeks ago that Deezer launched across the Middle East and North Africa region, and that left one more name out of the music-streaming basket.

[Update: 14 November 2018 @ 15:30 GMT]

As of today, Spotify has officially launched in the region. See the full story here.

[Update: 6 November 2018 @ 16:00 GMT]

It looks like Spotify has reserved and went live with a Twitter account for the Middle East region. It’s already verified with the blue tick but the account hasn’t tweeted. A cursory look at the joined date shows that the account went live just last week. In addition, I managed to find an Instagram account with the same handle but not yet verified (that may change within a few weeks and the website link on the bio takes you to their official website). Both accounts have already amassed more than 6,800 and 240 followers respectively.

Screenshot of Spotify's Middle East-focused Twitter account, known as SpotifyArabia, that was launched on 29 October 2018
Screenshot of Spotify’s Middle East-focused Twitter account that was launched on 29 October 2018

If you now try to visit the links below for your country, all users will be redirected to a page that reads “Spotify is currently not available in your country”, and lets you sign up to know when it will roll-out. It’s an indication that the invite-only approach was for a limited run to help smoothen things out before a complete launch.


Attention to all Middle East and North Africa residents: Put on your headphones (wired or wireless), make sure your smartphone(s) is/are charged up (carry a power pack as well), your cellular data plan or WiFi connection is configured (hope you have at least 3G), and download the Spotify app.

But… there are two more things you’ll need before you can dive in: pray that you get an invite to use it in the Middle East and North Africa region and you’re in one of those select countries. The last two notes are the gotchas for those who may have stumbled upon the Spotify country pages for select countries as of November 4.

However, it’s a step that those prayers have been answered for many who have longed to use it but have been locked out of the geofence. This has long been coming, given that they’ve been shopping around to fill roles to challenge Anghami.

So if you see your current residing country listed below, you’ll have to visit the sign up for an invite (if you try to visit the Arabic version, you’ll see that the English text is right aligned):

It’s still a handful of countries, but it gives them room to see how they can cater to this. It’s good timing by Spotify to try a soft-launch going into the holiday period, as they challenge Anghami’s established base while also making inroads with Deezer who just launched here weeks ago.

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