Listen up South Africa, here comes Spotify


We’ve heard the phrase “Spotify is launching in South Africa soon!” so many times in recent years we’re understandably cynical when we hear it again… but this time we have reason to believe it’s more than merely hearsay and optimism. What makes us so confident? Spotify’s London office is advertising a position for a “Senior Editor/Music Programmer – South Africa” who’ll be based in London or Dubai.

“We are looking for a broadly experienced Sr. Editor/Music Programmer to join Spotify’s Shows and Editorial team, responsible for South Africa,” the ad reads. “You will identify and curate first rate music playlist listening and programming experiences for a multitude of our moods, moments, and genres, demonstrate a passion for performance-oriented analytics, and will have your ear to the ground in the music community, focusing on South Africa.”

Not quite a smoking gun, but pretty encouraging

The ad doesn’t specify when applications close, or when the successful applicant would need to start, but we’re hoping it means we’ll see the service launch locally before the end of the year. Currently, getting a paid Spotify account in South Africa requires jumping through hoops, and while there are plenty of alternative services like Apple Music, Tidal, Google Play MusicJoox and Simfy, there’s a reason Spotify’s managed to hold its own in an increasingly crowded market place: it’s really, really good.

One of Spotify’s best features is the pair of personalised playlists it offers users: Discover Weekly on a Monday, and Release Radar on a Friday. Both 30 songs long and updated weekly, Discover Weekly offers users songs Spotify’s recommendation algorithms they’ll like based on their listening history, which can include new or old releases. Release Radar, meanwhile, is similarly tailored to each user, but only includes recent releases.

The more you listen, the better the recommendations get. And you can even follow other people’s Discover and Release playlists if you find you’ve got similar taste and want to bolster your weekly new-music quota.

Hopefully this message will soon be a thing of the past for South African visitors to Spotify’s website

Moreover, in some markets Spotify has partnered with companies like Uber to make it easier for users to play their favourite playlists on the go, and Samsung’s new Gear Fit 2 Pro is set to offer something we’ve been hoping would come to a fitness tracker: the ability to store offline Spotify playlists on it — no more ripping or downloading workout tracks to upload to fitness watches through inevitably clunky interfaces. It also offers the best collaborative playlist making we’ve seen in a music streaming service and slick, regularly updated apps.

For now details are thin on the ground, but please do tell us more, Spotify. We’re all ears.


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