A big deal wasn’t made out of this during the launch, but Spotify’s debut in the Middle East included making the service available in the Palestinian Territories – an area of the world that has rarely figured in discussion about music-streaming’s expansion.
Reuters has been talking to some Palestinian musicians about the potential impact, although it’s more in terms of them getting their music on to Spotify, to be heard by people elsewhere in the world. “After the launch, my monthly followers [on Spotify] increased from 30 to something like 6,500,” says musician Bashar Murad, noting that “as Palestinian artists, we face a lot of restrictions. Some cannot travel to perform in another country”.
The piece also explains some of the challenges that remain: including the lack of 4G mobile broadband, meaning artists often have to find a decent internet connection (for example in an internet cafe) to upload their tracks.