Spotify is being launched in the Middle East and North Africa

FILE PHOTO: The Spotify logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, 3 May 2018. REUTERS / Brendan McDermid / File Photo

DUBAI (Reuters) – Spotify (SPOT.N), & # 39; the world's most popular paid music streaming service, which was officially launched in the Middle East and North Africa on Tuesday.

The company said that services would now be available in 13 Arab markets, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Morocco, but not in Libya, Iraq, Syria or Yemen.

Spotify has been unofficially available in the Middle East for several years through accounts that are usually registered in other markets such as Europe.

Claudius Boller, who previously worked with Universal Music Group in the region, is Spotify's managing director for the Middle East and Africa.

Boller told Reuters Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Morocco are expected to boost regional growth, reflecting the youth of the Middle East and the high penetration rate of smartphones.

Spotify also added the Palestinian territories on Tuesday. The services have been available in Israel since March.

Spotify also launched its "Arab Hub" collection of playlists with Arabic music on Wednesday.

The Swedish company, founded in 2008, listed on the New York Stock Exchange in April. Before the launch in the Middle East and North Africa, Spotify's music streaming services were available in 65 markets, according to the website.

Reporting by Alexander Cornwell. Edited by Jane Merriman

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