Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
It will come as little surprise to learn that Spotify is looking to spread its wings, with Canada being touted as its next launch market, possibly followed by Asia and South America.
As The Wall Street Journal notes today, the music-streaming service recently published its annual accounts which contained a management report, dated at April 23 2012, where it said that a swoop on the Canadian market was planned.
“Spotify said this move will further consolidate its position as the world’s largest music-streaming service, and added that it may seek to expand into ‘countries in Asia and South America’,” noted the WSJ report.
Of course, Spotify has already established subsidiaries in Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong, and there was never any question that it would be stopping at its current 16-country count (including the Faroe Islands). As it stands, Spotify is available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Indeed, the later of these was perhaps its most notable launch to date, hitting the US in July last year to much fanfare. And while we don’t know the exact breakdown by market, we do know that Spotify has 4m paying subscribers, from at total of 15m active users globally.
Spotify vs. Deezer
But it will be interesting to see Spotify and Deezer go head-to-head in more countries, with the latter of these already launching in Canada. More importantly, it has already ventured into Africa (tentatively) and Latin America, with Asia arriving imminently. Indeed, Deezer has already indicated that it isn’t planning on targeting the US, presumably because the market there is already pretty saturated (Spotify, Rdio, Grooveshark to name a few).
Deezer has previously made a lot of noise around its massive land-grab plans, aiming for two hundred countries in 2012, but there is one crucial difference between it and Spotify.
Deezer doesn’t really have a proper free-offering as such – it does offer a Discovery option which is more geared towards getting folk to try it out. It’s also worth noting that Spotify’s entry to new markets is perhaps a little more complex, in that its ad-supported Open incarnation is free, and this will likely make negotiating local rights deals a lot trickier.
However, if this latest report is anything to go by, Spotify is certainly eying the same markets as Deezer, armed with a fully-free (though admittedly with its own restrictions) version. And this may be a far more appealing option for consumers in the emerging markets of Latin America and Asia – if these launches do come to fruition.
We’ve reached out to Spotify to see if it can clarify its plans, but the company just reiterated its ultimate aim which is to be available in every country.
It’ll be interesting to see what Spotify has up its sleeve launch-wise, and it’ll be equally interesting to see battle commence between the various players in local markets.
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