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Happy Birthday Spotify! while YouTube Music launches locally

Happy Birthday Spotify! while YouTube Music launches locally

I can’t believe it’s been a year since Spotify launched locally.

For local music fans, Spotify has made browsing and sharing music easier than ever before.

Spotify received a hugely positive response from South Africa music fans when it launched. These fans were charmed by Spotify’s depth of catalogue, three billion playlists and its unique personalisation features, such as Discover Weekly and Daily Mix.

Not to mention that with the launch of the largest global music streaming service, Spotify became a very important strategic partner for South African artists and the local music industry.

When it launched, South Africa joined 64 other countries already relishing the Spotify experience. In the last year that number has grown to an impressive 79 countries, including the Middle East and North Africa and India. This global community of over 200 million music fans now have access to more than 40 million tracks and an extensive range of three billion+ local and international playlists.

“Our first year in South Africa has been extremely exciting and we have been thrilled by the response from music fans,” said Claudius Boller, Spotify’s managing director for the Middle East and Africa. “Our launch in South Africa – our first African market – gave us the opportunity to offer local music fans access to a world of new music and genres, as well as giving local artists the opportunity to connect with a global audience of music fans on Spotify.

Today, on its first (local) birthday, Spotify can reveal that the most-streamed local artist by South African music fans since its launch is Nasty C. Black Coffee was the second most-streamed local artist in South Africa, closely followed by AKA at number three.

Another interesting stat that Spotify revealed was that, based on the number of streams in major cities since launch, Johannesburg was the most musical city in South Africa and that Friday 22nd February 2019 was the most musical day over the last 12 months, as Spotify saw the most streams by South African music fans.

“We have had a fantastic first year in South Africa, and want to thank all of the artists, labels and music fans who have been on the journey with us so far. We are very excited about what the future holds.”

Download the Spotify app via the Android or iOS app store or by heading to There is a free service available but maybe try Premium free for 30 days – it’s only R59.99/month thereafter.

YouTube Music launched

YouTube has thrown its hat in the ring and locally launched its new music streaming service that offers music videos, official albums, singles, remixes, live performances, covers and hard-to-find music you can only get on YouTube, namely YouTube Music.

While fans can enjoy the new ad-supported version of YouTube Music for free, YouTube has also revealed its YouTube Music Premium, a paid membership that gives you background listening, downloads and an ad-free experience for R59.99 a month. For a limited time, music fans can get three months of YouTube Music Premium free here but you’ll pay R59.99 per month after, or R89.99 per month for a Family Plan.

YouTube Music offers a number of features music lovers will really enjoy, says Google SA Head of Marketing Asha Patel: “A home screen that dynamically adapts to provide recommendations based on what you’ve played before, where you are and what you’re doing. Thousands of playlists across any genre, mood or activity. The hottest new music. And, no internet? No problem. Get YouTube Music Premium to listen ad-free, in the background and on-the-go with downloads.  Plus, your Offline Mixtape automatically downloads songs you love just in case you forgot to.

“With the Smart Search feature on YouTube Music,” she adds, “music lovers can find any song, even if they can’t remember what it’s called, as users can search for descriptions, lyrics and even emojis to find the tracks they want to listen to.

Smart Search is available in most languages, including indigenous South African languages such as isiZulu and isiXhosa.

“Music lovers will no longer miss out on their favourite tracks simply because they forgot the titles,” says Patel.

“Google Play Music subscribers will automatically receive access to YouTube Music Premium at their current price,” she adds. “Nothing is changing with Google Play Music – you’ll still be able to access all of your purchased music, uploads and playlists in Google Play Music just like always.”

The new YouTube Music app is available to download from the Play Store and App Store now or users can check out the web player at and sign up for YouTube Premium at

Clare Petra Matthes

Hi, I'm Clare and I am a freelance writer and Tech journalist as well as the owner and founder of where I review tech devices and also cover emerging technology news. Outside of I write for a number of publications and have regular tech slots on chaiFM radio station and eNCA's Tech Matters national breakfast TV news show.

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