Spotify will launch in the Middle East and North Africa in November, according to an internal email obtained and cited by Music Business Worldwide. Reached for comment, a Spotify spokesperson did not deny the report but told Variety, “Spotify’s ultimate goal is to be available in every country, but we don’t currently have any news to share on a launch in the Middle East.”
According to the report, the company will have a new regional headquarters based in Dubai and is currently seeking advertisers for the effort. A separate email cited by MBW, sent to staff at a Dubai-based ad agency, reportedly says Spotify is aiming to find six brands in the regions to advertise at launch, charging each as much as $200,000.
In February, Spotify disclosed in public documents that it had leased several regional offices, including one in the United Arab Emirates, where Dubai is located. It also has recently advertised for an editorial position based in Dubai as well as a New York-based senior editor for Arab music culture.
The news comes amid rumblings that the three major label groups, Sony, Universal and Warner, will attempt to block Spotify’s efforts for a future launch in India, due to the company’s recent attempts to strike direct deals with artists. Spotify remains the global streaming leader, with 83 million subscribers.