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Spotify launches in Dubai and the MENA region

Spotify launches in Dubai and the MENA region

The leading music streaming service is now available for existing account holders in the Middle East and North Africa without the need for a VPN, according to a number of users

The company’s UAE service remains invite only for non-subscribers, with visitors to Spotify’s local website able to enter their e-mail address in returns for an invitation. The news was initially reported by Gulf News in September that the Swedish company was preparing to launch across the entire region in November. Spotify’s service in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Tunisia, Algeria, Qatar, and Morocco are currently invite only too.

 Spotify has also launched a new Twitter account, @SpotifyArabia, concurrently with the launch. According to a publicly available Twitter API, Gulf News understands that the account was created on October 29, 2018.

Right now, it is unclear when Spotify plans to become available to non-subscribers without an invitation. The company could not be reached for comment.

As of Monday night, Spotify was still unavailable on the UAE’s Apple App Store. When it does become available however, Spotify will join the likes of Apple Music, local player Anghami and Deezer, which launched in the UAE last month. An internal e-mail reviewed by Gulf News had revealed that in August, the Swedish company was searching for advertisers ahead of its November roll out in the region.

In an e-mail sent to staff at a Dubai-based advertising agency, a senior media executive was quoted describing how Spotify is looking for six brands to advertise, at a cost of $200,000 each, ahead of the November launch.

Meanwhile, the company has ramped up its recruitment drive in the region, advertising for a Dubai-based copyright infringment manager, a metadata manager, and an artist marketing manager on LinkedIn.

Earlier this year, Spotify began hiring for a number of positions locally, indicating an imminent regional launch.In February, it also disclosed in public documents that it had leased a number of regional offices, including one in the UAE.

Industry analysts have suggested that licensing issues have delayed Spotify’s arrival in the Arab world till now—something that now seems to have been resolved.

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