It’s that classic story of Goliath vs. a bunch of even bigger, stronger Goliaths.
Over the next few days, audio streaming giant Spotify will launch in 85 more countries, doubling its geographic footprint. Analysts see it as a power move aimed at Apple, Amazon, and Google — all of which have their eyes (and ears) on the music streaming market.
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Spotify brought out the big guns for the announcement, live streaming with Justin Bieber — who was not nearly as emotional as when he broke into tears after receiving a custom Rolls Royce designed to look like a spaceship earlier this week — as well as sort-of-royal power couple Prince Harry and Megan Markle.
Countries Spotify will be available in will include Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Samoa, Bahamas, and Jamaica.
On top of geographic expansion, Spotify laid out its vision for “a new golden age of audio,” which will include a new subscription tier called “HiFi” (for high-quality audio), podcast exclusives, and a suite of new tools for artists and podcasters.
But, like many big and fast-growing tech firms, Spotify has struggled to turn a profit as it prioritized scale. Last year, while active users grew by 27%, the company’s net loss tripled to $698 million.