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Spotify expands to Russia and 12 other countries in eastern Europe

Other new markets include Croatia and Ukraine.
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Igor Bonifacic / Engadget

Spotify is expanding to 13 additional markets. Starting today, music fans in Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia and Ukraine can check out the platform. With the expansion, the streaming app is available in 92 countries globally.

In all, Spotify says the move gives it access to 250 million potential customers. However, Russia, in particular, is a critical market for the company. According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, approximately 87 percent of people in Russia stream music online. That makes the eastern European country the 17th biggest streaming market globally, and it's on pace to break into the top 10 by 2030. So as you might imagine, Spotify is going out of its way to make its platform appealing to Russian users. 

Besides localizing its web and mobile apps, Spotify is launching with almost 100 curated playlists made specifically for the market. Select genre playlists will also feature local artists alongside their international counterparts. Notably, one thing the Russian version of Spotify won't include at launch is podcasts. The medium has been a significant part of Spotify's plan to become profitable. The company told Reuters the market for podcasts in Russia is "nascent."  

"It's something that will be important to us over time," said Gustav Gyllenhammar, the company's vice president of markets and subscriber growth. 

As part of today's announcement, Spotify also shared new user numbers. The streaming giant currently has 286 million users and 130 million Premium subscribers. A little more than a year ago, Spotify had just passed the 100 million subscriber threshold and 217 million users total.   

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