Spotify and Apple Music
Spotify and Apple Music

Less than a year after the launch of Apple Music in Jamaica, what does Spotify mean for the streaming numbers of our artists?

For too long, Jamaican fans are denied the chance to play music on some of the world’s most popular digital platforms. It was only appropriate at the time when Apple Music was launched in April last year in 52 new countries, including Jamaica. Experts and critics planned to do wonderful music for danceshalls and reggae, which is often very low on global platforms. Now Spotify has improved as it announced on Tuesday (23 February) it will expand access to 85 other countries.

Spotify has been implementing in areas like Asia, Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean in the last few days since the announcement. More specifically in Jamaica, Belize, the Bahamas, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and much more, the platform is now available.

The enormous expansion will, according to Variety, increase the geographical size of Spotify from 93 to 178 markets and in turn grow the audience to a potential billion of users from hundreds of millions. Spotify was also launched on 1 February in South Korea, one of the world’s largest music markets. Now 36 new languages have been added to facilitate

“Such moves represent Spotify’s biggest expansion in the current market,” the audio Streaming Service says, in a statement this week. Spotify being one of today’s most extensive streaming platforms, local reggae and dancehall artists were cheated by region constraints.

While the genre remains ever-popular on platforms like YouTube, there are millions of users who stream music on Spotify and Apple Music every month across the world, which added major weight to the activity on these services. With both of them now available in Jamaica, artists will no doubt take advantage of the well-needed change and increase engagement with fans on these platforms.

Shatta Wale

Is expansion of Apple Music and Spotify a dancehall game changer?

One of Spotify’s main reasons and the availability of Apple Music in Jamaica could be that dancehall music has a catalyst that has the credibility of the platforms that it deserves globally. They are certified places to discover any official active artist in the sector and how many of them are evaluated.

Based on how all streams through every platform for something streamline the music industry, artists in Jamaica had a serious inconvenience when local fans couldn’t access virtually every kind of streaming music.

Nielsen Music, for example, collect data on streaming on all platforms, and there is no doubt that the number of people in the Caribbean was seriously lacking, even though music is such an important cultural component.

This has given it to most Jamaican artists, giants like Billboard and Rolling Stone, have received little or no credit. Julian Jones-Griffith, artist and CEO Pop Style, explained last year, when Apple Musique launched in Jamaica, that tracking streaming in Caribbean and African markets is only going to make the field of dancehall and other genres equal.

“Our streaming numbers have been disproportionately impacted by the absence of Apple Music and other platforms like Spotify in the region and in Africa, where our music is very popular,” she said. “Up to this very moment, our music is way more popular on YouTube than Apple Music or Spotify in comparison to other genres. Hopefully, parity can be reached now that Apple Music is available. It should help the streaming services take us a little more seriously.”

Taking into account the disparity between American and Caribbean markets in volume, it is not possible to compare the contribution of these latter fans to Apple Music or the newly launched Spotify. The fact that the numbers will no longer be missing is, however, a significant improvement and it could change the dancehall and reggae music landscape, as we know it.

This is a very welcome move for some artists as the services have paid subscribers as well and thus can generate more revenue streams for them. Spotify’s coveted charts and Apple Music have set the bar for whom is hot and who hasn’t been in the world for a long time, but never represented fans in Ghana,Jamaica and other Caribbean countries as well as in Africa and Asia.

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“By reaching even more countries across Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and Latin America, we’re giving millions of new creators the opportunity to create, discover, and build a career in audio creation—and giving a billion new fans the opportunity to hear it,”

On Monday (22 February) Spotify announced at their Stream On an event featuring Justin Bieber, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry.

This expansion is not only good for musicians and fans, but also good for podcasters and creators who had never the space to make a voice heard on a global network.“Having more listeners on our platform creates more opportunities for artists and podcasters to make a living from their work. And more creators means more audio content for our users to discover,”Alex Norström, Chief of Commerce Freemium Spotify, said. He said.


Will local fans sign up for the premium services of Apple Music and Spotify?

After all of these years, it may take some time for fans of the region to adjust to the restriction, but when they get warmed up, we’ll certainly be seeing a big difference when it comes to marketing and streaming danchall music. For some artists who just upload their songs to YouTube since local fans could not access streaming platforms such as Spotify, they may now opt to put their music on these platforms exclusively and reserve YouTube for the official videos of music. However, the more places their music can be accessed, the more people they reach and the more people they are listened to, including YouTube.

As a result of this expansion there is likely to be improvements in the streaming numbers of artists in Jamaica, but the progressive process also will reveal a little nuggets that we have wanted to know. Who is the artist who just died on platforms like Spotify in Jamaica? How will the results of these streams impact the artist’s local and international presence on the platform? Will Jamaica Streaming numbers slightly or monumentally increase?

It is so soon difficult to tell how many more streams will appear for Jamaica, but as we wait to see, artists are also starting to gather important benefits, such as a glimpse into fans’ places, how many people listen to every day and which of the local fans’ songs is the most popular. If you are intelligent, your decisions will influence your insight and not only improve your numbers, your music and your careers overall.

Spotify is making its entire music catalog available in all the new markets and its podcast catalog in most of them. If you are from a territory where the service was recently launched, what or who are you looking forward to streaming the most?


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