According to the "CNBC"

Feb 23, 2021

Sunday, Feb 28, 2021 - 13:33:19

Spotify plans to launch in over 80 more countries

Spotify plans to launch in over 80 more countries

This news has been received from: CNBC

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The Spotify app on an iPhone.Fabian Sommer | picture alliance | Getty Images

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.

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News Source: CNBC

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The Conversation Spain

Why is Tanzania playing with fire by rejecting the covid-19 vaccine?

Prayer is one of the methods used in Tanzania to control the spread of the new coronavirus. STRINGER / . via . ImagesTanzania has taken a very particular approach to controlling SARS-CoV-2. Last year, just months after the pandemic began, President John Magufuli declared Tanzania free of COVID-19 after three days of national prayers. Since then, it has refused to impose a lockdown, reopened schools, allowed major sporting events, continued religious gatherings, stopped testing and suspended public communication campaigns about the virus. The country has also stopped reporting cases and deaths. The argument was that people should stop living in fear and trust God and traditional African remedies to prevent infections. Tanzania may be the only country in the world that has taken this approach, which goes against everything that has been recommended by scientists, other national health agencies and the World Health Organization (WHO). Therefore, it is not surprising that the authorities have said that they have no plans to vaccinate the population, or at least not for now. Will people still be able to access vaccines? No and yes. No, because a vaccine cannot be used in the country without its use being registered and authorized. The normal process is for experts, along with regulatory bodies, to review data on the vaccine and approve its use if they are convinced of its efficacy and safety. For the covid-19 vaccine, this is being done through the WHO emergency use list procedure. The review is carried out by an international team of experts with the participation of other specialists from national authorities. But if the Tanzanian government refuses to register the vaccine for use, no one will be able to access it. However, the country could register the vaccine but refuse to import it. This would allow the private sector to import some, although they would not be enough. Vaccination programs against covid-19 in any country involve massive management and, if the private sector takes the reins, many will not be able to afford vaccines or have access to them. Those who could be vaccinated would be the people belonging to the elite of Tanzania (or those who have the means), who could leave the country and get vaccinated elsewhere. Other Tanzanians who may have access to vaccines are those border communities that, in the past, have crossed into neighboring countries and benefited from vaccination programs. This could happen if widespread vaccination begins to occur in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Malawi. But that will be in a couple of years. There is still the possibility for Tanzania to register and import vaccines in the future. Magufuli has sent mixed messages. On the one hand, the government has said that it does not plan to order vaccines through COVAX (a global initiative aimed at achieving equitable access to covid-19 vaccines) or any other mechanism. In fact, the recently published COVAX distribution list does not include any doses for Tanzania. On the other hand, he has stated that Tanzanians should only trust vaccines that have been reviewed by experts in the country and that they have considered safe. Does Tanzania have a history of opposition to vaccines? Not that I know. Tanzania, like other countries, has implemented routine vaccination programs. They are aimed especially at children under five years of age and act against diseases such as tuberculosis, polio, whooping cough, measles, rubella and diphtheria. In recent years, these programs have been expanded to include vaccines against bacterial pneumonia, diarrhea and hepatitis B. In Tanzania, vaccination coverage, that is, the percentage of people receiving the vaccine is very high: around 80% or 90%. This means that there is no history of opposition to vaccines. Differences between Tanzania and neighboring countries like Kenya and Uganda Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Malawi have desperately tried to get the vaccine for their citizens. All of them have integrated into the COVAX service and have developed vaccine distribution plans, calculated costs and submitted them. Rwanda has even gone ahead and obtained vaccines outside of the COVAX service. These four countries have also started to inform the population about these plans. For example, they have confirmed that the first phase of distribution will be aimed primarily at health personnel and people at high risk. At the moment, the biggest problem facing African countries is the shortage of vaccines in the global market to vaccinate a significant part of the population. Many rich countries will have vaccinated everyone who needs it by the end of this year. But African countries will not have full availability of the vaccine until the end of next year or even until 2023. If the countries that have sought vaccines with such vigor are so far behind, imagine a country like Tanzania that, right now, does not it has even started. What is the risk for the country and the region? The risk to the country has already become apparent. The method that Tanzania has followed has allowed the virus to spread uncontrollably among the population. People are dying from what is being categorized as “pneumonia” and “breathing difficulties.” People living in Tanzania are not sufficiently prepared or protected, as there are no protocols on what to do to prevent the spread of the virus if someone falls ill. Most of the information is about spraying to prevent covid-19, but that doesn’t stop the virus from spreading from person to person. The second big problem is the impact on health personnel. Even in countries where strict measures have been put in place, health workers have fallen ill and many have died. Misinformation in Tanzania could lead to insufficient precautions by healthcare workers in outpatient clinics, emergency rooms, and even patient care practices. If health workers fall ill, other health services will also be affected. A great danger for the region and for the world. First, as long as there are COVID-19 cases in Tanzania, it will be impossible for neighboring countries (with which it shares permeable borders) to be free of the disease. Second, and perhaps more importantly, there is a risk that new variants will develop in the country while no one is monitoring. New variants emerge due to uncontrolled spread. If a new variant emerges later in Tanzania, the danger is that it could spread throughout the region and invalidate any vaccinations that have been administered if they are not effective against that variant. The pandemic will not end for anyone anywhere until it is controlled in all countries. Tanzania’s stance will make it much more difficult to get back to normal. This article was originally published in English by The Conversation and translated with the collaboration of Casa África. Translation: Clara León. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original. Catherine Kyobutungi is an epidemiologist from Uganda currently serving as the executive director of the Center for Research on Population and Health in Africa. It receives funding from Sida, BMGF, Carnegie Corporation in New York, the African Academy of Sciences, and the Hewlett Foundation.

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