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Spotify targets “underserved markets” with FB’s Libra crypto

Joining the Libra Association represents "an opportunity to better reach Spotify’s total addressable market", according to the streaming company's premium business chief

By Jon Chapple on 18 Jun 2019

Libra aims to make it easy to send money around the world

Libra aims to make it easy to send money around the world


image © Facebook/Calibra

Spotify has said it plans to accelerate its push into emerging markets by joining the Libra Association, the not-for-profit organisation behind Facebook’s much-hyped new cryptocurrency, Libra (≋).

Officially unveiled today by Facebook’s new head of Calibra (the subsidiary overseeing Libra products), David Marcus, Libra will allow Facebook’s nearly 2.4 billion active users to send money across the globe, using what the association’s members hope will become the go-to protocol for financial transactions online.

While the launch of Libra is predicted to drive a welcome uplift in Nasdaq-listed Facebook (FB)’s profits, Marcus says by the time the coin becomes available in 2020, “Facebook will have no special rights, and will be one member among many of the Libra Association”, which also includes the likes of eBay, PayPal, Mastercard, Uber, Lyft, Vodafone, Stripe and Spotify.

“I realise that such an endeavour that started at Facebook might be met with some deserved scepticism,” continues Marcus. “But my ask is that you take the time to truly make an opinion for yourselves by looking into how the Libra network and its governance have been set up from the ground up.”

“One challenge for Spotify and its users … has been the lack of easily accessible payment systems”

Spotify, the world’s largest subscription music streaming service, is attracted to Libra’s mission to facilitate simple, fast payments globally – particularly for the 1.7bn people worldwide without access to a bank account or payment card – says the company’s chief premium business officer, Alex Norström.

“One challenge for Spotify and its users around the world has been the lack of easily accessible payment systems, especially for those in financially underserved markets,” explains Alex Norström. “This creates an enormous barrier to the bonds we work to foster between creators and their fans.

“In joining the Libra Association, there is an opportunity to better reach Spotify’s total addressable market, eliminate friction and enable payments in mass scale.”

Spotify is available in 79 countries, including developing markets such as Vietnam, the Philippines, Bolivia, the Palestinian territories and, most recently, India.

 


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