Spotify vs Apple vs Google vs Deezer vs Simfy in South Africa

Spotify has launched in South Africa, taking on incumbent music streaming services.

As it does internationally, it offers an ad-supported Free tier that offers only shuffle play and limited skips, and a Premium plan.

The Premium plan is R59.99 per month, and includes an array of features – such as high-quality streams and no adverts.

Spotify is not the only platform which offers a combination of ad-supported and subscription music streaming services in South Africa, however.

While Spotify leads the subscription streaming music industry internationally – with over 159 million active users – it was beaten to market locally by several players.

These include Simfy, Deezer, Apple Music, and Google Play Music.


The table below summarises the pricing options available from music streaming services in South Africa.

Spotify said it expects to launch family and student pricing options in South Africa in the future.

Service Price Free Tier Trial Family Plan Additional
Spotify R59.99 Yes 30 days
Apple Music R59.99 No 3 months R89.99 Student – R29.99 / Annual – R599
Google Play Music R59.99 Yes 30 days R89.99
Deezer R59.99 Yes 30 days R89.99
Simfy R60.00 No 14 days Web and Desktop – R25
Joox R59.99 Yes 30 days


With little difference in the pricing, the music service you select will likely depend on its features, song catalogue, and user experience.

The trial periods and free offerings of these services are therefore well worth checking out to see which one suits you best.

In terms of feature differences, this will be based on the quality of metadata, personalisation, and playlists available on a platform.

Then there are more obvious differences, such as device support and streaming quality options.

Of particular note is Deezer’s “basic” option, which reduces a song’s bitrate to 64kbps, and Spotify’s “data saver” option which uses a bitrate of 24kbps.

These are both intended to reduce mobile data consumption.

Spotify said its data saver mode uses only 10.8MB of data for every hour of streaming. Other services typically use 40MB over the same period, it said.

There are also major differences in the devices each service supports.

A full list of devices supported by Spotify in South Africa is detailed on Spotify’s local help page, and includes mobile, tablet, desktop, speaker, TV, car, and game console options.

What sets Spotify apart in this regard is its partnerships with Sony and Microsoft for their PlayStation and Xbox gaming consoles.

A summary of supported devices, streaming quality, and catalogue sizes is detailed in the table below.

Spotify Google Play Music Apple Music Deezer Simfy
Songs 35 million 40 million 45 million 40 million 36 million
Streaming Quality Automatic – 24kbps OGG (mobile only)
Standard – 160kbps OGG (desktop), 128kbps AAC (web/Chromecast), 96kbps OGG (mobile)
High – 320kbps OGG (desktop), 256kbps AAC (web/Chromecast), 160kbps OGG (mobile)
Extreme – 320kbps OGG (mobile only)
320kbps MP3 256kbps AAC Compact – 128kbps
Balanced – 320kbps on Wi-Fi, 128kbps on mobile
Enhanced – 320kbps
Basic – 64kbps
128kbps – 192kbps
Platform Availability
Platform Spotify Google Play Music Apple Music Deezer Simfy
Desktop Windows/Mac Apps, Web Web iTunes (Windows/Mac) Windows/Mac Apps, Web Windows/Mac Apps, Web
Smartphone iPhone, Android iPhone, Android iPhone, Android iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 8, BlackBerry iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone
Tablet iPad, Android iPad, Android iPad iPad, Android, Windows 8 iPad, Android
Players iPod Touch iPod Touch iPod Touch iPod Touch iPod Touch
Wearables Android Wear Apple Watch Apple Watch, Android Wear
TV Samsung, Motorola STB, LG, Chromecast, Android TV, AirPlay, Sony, Amazon Fire TV Android TV, Chromecast Apple TV ROKU, Chromecast, Bang & Olufsen, Sony, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Philips, NetRange, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, TV Foxxum Chromecast, Apple TV
Sound Systems Sonos, Bose, UrbanEars, Marshall, Amazon, Google, Apple. Google Home HomePod SONOS, Yamaha MusicCast, ROCKI, Bang & Olufsen, Phantom, LG Music Flow, Harman Kardon, SoundTouch, Samsung Wireless Audio 360, HEOS by Denon, Sony HD Audio, Onkyo Network, NuVo, Bluesound Network Player, Cabasse Stream HiFis, BIG JAMBOX, Philips, MOON. SONOS, Samsung
Cars Waze, Jaguar Land Rover, BMW, Android Auto, MINI, Volvo, Ford SYNC Android Auto CarPlay MirrorLink via RockScout, Android Auto, CarPlay, Fiat 500X, Jeep Renegade, Parrot, BMW, MINI, Clarion.
Console PlayStation, Xbox One

Now read: The difference between Spotify Free and Spotify Premium

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Spotify vs Apple vs Google vs Deezer vs Simfy in South Africa