Spotify Has Expanded In Africa. What Does It Mean For Podcasters?

And I know your first response is…”Well, it’s about time!”

For  a long time, the majority  of Africa has been left out of the Spotify revolution in music and especially podcasting. (I even wrote about it last year in this post). Like many of you, I was here in Kenya trying to VPN my way to the app, so I could listen to the Michelle Obama podcast (or check my podcast analytics).  

Well, it looks like Spotify read my post 😉 

In February, the company announced  their plans to expand to more than a billion people in 80+ new markets around the world, and add 36 languages to their platform.  Many of these countries are in Africa, and the platform should have been rolled out to you.

But what does Spotify’s move mean for African podcasters and the ecosystem Let’s dig  in

Spotify is now available in the majority of Sub-Saharan Africa
 Before the announcement, Spotify was  only available in one Sub-saharan African country: South Africa. A reader did tweet me that the platform has also been available in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt.

Now, the platform is available in Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde,Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Some of the countries that  didn’t make the list include Somalia, Somaliland, Ethiopia, The Congos, Sudan and South Sudan. There is no word of when they plan to expand into these countries.

There is opportunity for local partners to collaborate with Spotify.
Spotify is like the Netflix of Podcasting, right? So imagine if you get to work with them. In the press release, Spotify said it will launch in the majority of these markets with its full podcast catalog minus some exceptions. “For the others, it will work closely with local partners to introduce more podcasts from its catalog, as well as Spotify’s proprietary creator platform, Anchor.” 

I’d love some clarity on what the Spotify catalog means. But if you squint and tilt your head to the side to read between the lines, there will be opportunities to collaborate and partner with Spotify locally. Fingers crossed that this is the case

It’ll be easier to discover other podcasts in your and other African countries.
I am always struggling to find new African podcasts that are interesting to me (especially because the same podcasts are starting to be recommended over and over again). Because Spotify is now recognizing our markets, it will start showcasing and curating top content content to check out. Because discoverability is generally an issue in podcasting, this is another great way to find podcasts nationally and continent wide…including your own podcast! So if you have yet to add your podcast to the platform, don’t waste any more time.

There you have it! We have yet to fully know what Spotify will add to the African podcasting space, but I expect it’ll be a game changer once it’s all settled. I hope this has helped you think about how Spotify will affect your podcast (or podcast listening).

What other changes or impact do you foresee? What questions do you still have? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Go ahead and comment below. I’ll be reading.

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5 Comments

  1. Thanks so much Paula for this update! It’s definitely about time and welcome news. Looking forward to having direct access from the continent!

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