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Spotify users can now listen for free in Madagascar, Mali, and DRC due to high data costs

  • Orange, France’s telco, has partnered with Spotify to allow smartphone users in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, and Mali to listen to music on Spotify for free.
  • The telco provides free data bonuses for Spotify users who sign up for an Orange mobile offer in these countries. This service will soon be available in Guinea. 

Orange Middle East and Africa has a presence in 18 countries, including Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Égypt, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Ivory Coast, and Senegal.

In 2020, the telco moved its regional headquarters from Paris to Morocco. In October of the same year, it partnered with Google to launch an exclusive low-budget 4G smartphone, Sanza.

Meanwhile, in November 2022, Spotify announced at the Africa Tech Festival 2022 that it intended to double its user base by 2030, with Africa playing a significant role in its growth strategies.

Currently available in over 183 markets, the company boasted nearly 200 million subscribers and about half a billion users at the time. 


Jocelyne Muhutu-Remy, Managing Director for Spotify in Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “We are excited to partner with Orange Middle East & Africa to offer data bonuses to our customers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Madagascar, and Mali, allowing them to enjoy our vast music library of over 100 million songs, without worrying about data. 

“We are aware that data costs continue to be a hindrance for people who would like to stream music. That’s why we are actively working at Spotify SSA on partnerships like this one.” 

Per a 2021 report, the average cost of 1GB of mobile data in Sub-Saharan Africa is $6.44, making it the most expensive region worldwide. Oceania came second most costly at $5.51, followed by South America at $5.25. 

The cost of mobile data in Africa varies significantly across the continent. In 2021, sub-Saharan Africa had the highest data costs in the world, with 1GB costing $6.44 on average. 

However, mobile data costs were significantly lower in Northern Africa, averaging $1.05 per 1GB.

Although that rate has declined, the most recent data from Statista shows that in sub-Saharan Africa, 1 gigabyte of mobile data cost $4.47 on average in 2022, making it one of the highest prices worldwide.  

In Africa, the high cost of mobile data is due to several factors, such as high taxes and poor infrastructure. This significantly impacts Africa’s Internet penetration. 

Data from Statista shows that Internet penetration in Africa in 2021 was approximately 43%, a figure lower than the global average of 66%. However, due to a significant increase in Internet usage on the continent, Africa had nearly 602 million Internet users in 2022 — six times the number in 2010.

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