2 Oct 2013

Axel Bringéus, Spotify: Digital Music generates revenue for Operators and the Music Industry...

axel bringeus
Axel Bringéus,
Head of New Markets
The AfricaCom team caught up with Axel Bringéus ahead of the AfricaCom Conference and Exhibition, taking place at the CTICC in Cape Town, South Africa – 12-14 November to find out a bit more about his experiences and focus at the event.

Com World Series: What makes Spotify a leading music service globally?

Axel Bringéus: I think it is because it is just so simple, so fast and - crucially - is free to use. I think that once you try it, and simply search for any song or artist, and just hit 'play', you immediately realise how fantastic it is, and how a world of music opens up to you instantly. We have always put the music fan first, and have built a service that we humbly believe is the best music streaming service in the world, but we are laser-focused on improving it, and helping our users find even more music and artists to love.

Com World Series: What would you say are the key trends in digital music globally?

Axel Bringéus: There has been a lot of talk about curation lately; how to help music fans discover new music. Spotify has a catalogue of over 20 million tracks, so we work very hard to help people discover music they will love, in multiple ways. Firstly, Spotify is social, and allows you to see what your friends are listening to, as well as to 'follow' the music that artists you like and admire enjoy. Secondly, we know the kind of music that you are listening to, so using algorithms through Spotify's Discover function, we suggest other music that you might like. And thirdly, in Spotify Browse, we have a host of curated content for you to enjoy, based around different music moments or moods. All of this combined means that Spotify is leading the way in terms of curated content and helping to connect music fans with new music and artists.

Com World Series: How does Spotify work with telecom operators?

Axel Bringéus: We have a large number of strong relationships with telecom operators around the world, such as with Telia in Sweden and KPN in the Netherlands. In most cases, the relationship involves Spotify being offered as part of a 'bundle' with a telecom operator's package. This allows the telecom operator the opportunity to add value to the bundle and to attract a young, music-loving audience. It gives Spotify an important strategic partner, increased audience reach, and profile in any marketing activities. And as more and more music fans sign up to receive Spotify premium as one of these bundles, that drives increasing revenues to the music industry, and in turn, to artists, so everyone benefits.

Com World Series: What are the key considerations when launching the service in a new market? What market conditions are you looking for to decide where to expand?

Axel Bringéus: We want to make the service available everywhere. We believe that, although market differences are important to consider, the world isn't that different when it comes to music consumption and the wish for a simple, legal alternative to piracy. Markets with high internet and smartphone penetration are obviously more attractive from an economic perspective, but again we want to be available everywhere.

Com World Series: Why is Africa an interesting market for digital music?

Axel Bringéus: A lot of eyes are on Africa and the strong economic growth that the continent is showing. Music has always been important in Africa and as we all know, growth in mobile- and smartphone usage in Africa is unprecedented. There are a lot of interesting developments in the market and a number of online services that have proven that Africa is a lucrative market. This is a very interesting time in this space.

Com World Series: What are your expectations from taking part in AfricaCom this year?

Axel Bringéus: To meet a lot of interesting people and learn

Find out more at AfricaCom. Axel Bringéus will be speaking at 14:20 on Day 1 at the Digital Music Africa seminar on “Lessons learnt from a leading international digital music provider”.  


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