(CNBC) – Audio streaming service Spotify is planning to almost double its geographic footprint and launch into 85 more countries, adding 36 languages to its platform in the process.
The Swedish firm announced the international expansion on Tuesday at a livestreaming event that featured Justin Bieber, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Spotify said the expansion, into what are largely seen as developing countries across Asia, Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean, will enable an additional billion people to use its platform.
In the next few days, Spotify will launch in countries like Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Samoa, Jamaica, Bahamas, and Belize.
“These moves represent Spotify’s broadest market expansion to date,” Spotify said. Following the expansion, Spotify will be available in over 170 countries.
Spotify launched in 2008 just a year after the first iPhone was released and it has amassed 345 million monthly active users across 95 countries. Of those, 155 million are premium paying subscribers.
While Spotify started out as a music streaming platform, it now allows people to listen to podcasts, audio books and meditations.
The Stockholm-headquartered firm has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to secure exclusive podcast series including a new show from Barack and Michelle Obama that will feature Bruce Springsteen.
Competition with tech giants
Spotify faces stiff competition from Apple, Amazon and Google, which have launched their own music streaming services in recent years.
The company’s biggest competitor is arguably Apple Music, and Spotify is involved in a bitter antitrust dispute with Apple. Spotify doesn’t think it’s fair that it has to pay Apple a commission, or what it sees as a “tax,” when users subscribe and pay for its service via Apple’s App Store. It filed a complaint to the European Commission in March 2019 and a probe is ongoing.
Spotify’s share price was down 4% to $350 on Monday and it fell another 0.5% to $348 in after-hours trading.