Spotify appears to be making the final preparations for its long-anticipated launch in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, on an invitation-only basis. News site MENAbytes reported this weekend that Spotify has launched country-specific website pages for the UAE, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, where people could request an invitation. Cue headlines of ‘Spotify launches in MENA’, but they may have been slightly premature: after reports were published about the pages, they were redirected to a ‘Not Available in Your Country’ message. It has the whiff of final preparations for launch, however, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see invitations open up this week.
Spotify’s launch, which has been trailed for months with its recruitment policies and comments from local rightsholders, comes a few weeks after Deezer also launched in the MENA region – backed by investment from Saudi Arabia and an exclusive deal with local label group Rotana. Both are hoping to take a chunk out of the market share of local service Anghami, which has 40 million listeners across the region.