It’s been a while since we wrote about African mobile music service Spinlet: in February 2012 COO Sami Leino told us about its plans to disrupt piracy with a service “somewhere in the middle between iTunes and Spotify” (Report, 16-Feb-12). So how is it doing? In a new interview with VentureBeat, CEO Neil Schwartzman says that Spinlet has 650k registered users across Africa and a catalogue of music from 50k artists, with ambitious plans for expansion. “We expect about 18 million downloads next year, and 88 million by 2016, by when we expect to have about 50 million paid subscribers,” says Schwartzman. The company is also preparing for a marketing push elsewhere in the world, targeting the African diaspora. “In December we will start digital campaigns in US, UK, and France. There are one million Nigerians in Houston alone, and they spend five million minutes on the phone home every month…” In that sense, Spinlet’s strategy is similar to Indian services like Saavn and Dhingana, which have global ambitions based on that country’s diaspora.

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