How To Use Spotify South Africa

FRONDS! HAHA! I’m SO excited Spotify is FINALLY in South Africa! I’ve been using the app for about 3 years since I worked at a UK based agency and I LOVE it!

The global music streaming site is SO much better than many others due to its search facilities and bass music listings. I find they have WAY more UK artists on there, which is the music I enjoy. And their search capabilities are so much better than other music sites I’ve used.

But if you’re new to Spotify, it can be a little tricky to figure out. So here are a few ways I like to use Spotify and a few features that I enjoy:

  1. Making Playlists
  2. Radio
  3. Following Playlists
  4. My Music
  5. Issues


How To Create a Playlist in Spotify South Africa

Now this might seem like a no brainer, but Spotify is a little tricky to use when you’re new. When you log in, it gives you your account information and not a whole library of music like iTunes does. In order to pull some music together, here’s how to create a playlist.

1. Log In.

2. Ignore account information.

3. Scroll down to Web Player.

This will then take you to the music centre of Spotify.

4. Click “Your Music“.

5. Click “New Playlist”.

6. Give your playlist a title under “Create New Playlist”.

Once you’ve set up an empty playlist, go to the SEARCH bar and start looking for songs you’d like to add. When you find one, there are 3 ways to add the song to the playlist:

  1. Hover your mouse over the song title, right mouse click & “Add to Playlist”.
  2. Hover over the 3 dots, normal click and “Add to Playlist”.
  3. Right mouse click on the TITLE of the song on the player below & “Add to Playlist”.

This will then allow you to select the playlist you want to add to & click the + sign. That’s it!

How To Use Radio on Spotify

Radio is a rad little feature that you can use to get a playlists created for you on the fly. All you have to do is:

  • Search for a song you’re in the mood to listen to today.
  • Right mouse click.
  • Select “Start Radio”.

And it’ll start playing songs in a similar vein. It’s a really easy way to play music that you’re in the mood for without having to build a list yourself.

How To Follow Playlists on Spotify

I love some of the Spotify playlists. imagine this: I’m at work, I need to reduce the noise, I stick my Beats by Dre on, pick a list and Bob’s your uncle, I get my work done in half time! 😉 My favourite playlists include:

Electronic Concentration isn’t too chilled that it makes you sleepy, it’s just the right amount of zen and groove to keep you thinking nicely.

UK Top 50 is also rad because I prefer UK music over the USA (generally) and this allows me to keep in touch with the latest singles in the UK. They listen to some wacky stuff like Bob the Builder, but it’s fun! Disclosure: I couldn’t find this on the web player, but I found it on my mobile app when I went to Search < Charts < Top Charts By Country < United Kingdom. I clicked the heart icon so now I follow it.

Brit Pop is fun when you’re hankering for a touch of 90’s throwback British pop music. This Suede, Blur, Spice Girls, The Verve, all good and slightly melancholy at times. It feels a bit like home.

Discover Weekly – Just For You

Discover Weekly is another cool playlist that aggregates tunes in accordance with your taste. If you hear a song that you like either “Add to my Music” or give it a thumbs up. Spotify will take this into account and ‘feed’ music back to you aligned with tunes you’ve shown an interest in.

That’s why it’s important to “Add to Music” or click the thumbs up or thumbs down buttons if you do NOT like something. The more you use it, the better it gets as well. Week by week I’m surprised at how much I like the music, lol!

Spotify Mobile App Issues

I’ve been using the desktop app for a few years and only use the mobile app when I’m in the UK. So it’s only as of yesterday that I saw the SA version and I was immediately stuck with 2 issues.

Shuffle Play

I thought this was only an issue for free accounts so I upgraded to premium and it appears not. When you’ve selected an album that you want to listen to, the most obvious button is SHUFFLE PLAY, right?

BUT, that means the songs won’t play in the album order and if you’re old school like me, you’ll know exactly what song is meant to come next and it can ruin the listening experience for you.

So do NOT click SHUFFLE PLAY. Just click the title of the first song (for eg. The Garden or Bombs) and it will play in the album order, ignore the Shuffle Play button.

Then click on the song player at the bottom of the screen, which will open up the single and you can check the SHUFFLE button is off. This will ensure the album plays in order.

No Radio Feature

Radio doesn’t seem to be a feature on the app. I’m not sure why this is, but I’d recommend using the desktop version of Spotify at work so it can come to know what you like and don’t like, then you can play the playlists off your app in the car, etc.

Limited Plays

When I went to the UK Top 50 yesterday on the mobile app, it would only play 15 seconds of each song. Maybe I’ve misunderstood but that’s what it appeared to be doing. Upgrade to get around this, it’s only R60 a month.

Random Username

A reader, Munira, kindly pointed out the lack of user names. I think this is a technical glitch because mine also comes up as a random string of letters, yet within Spotify is does have my username. So I think that’s an error on their side that I hope they’re ironing out!

Get The Most Out of Spotify

Go Premium for 30 Days Free

For R60 a month, I think it’s a bargain. But, if you’re not sure, there’s a 30 day free trial on Premium so sign up now, give it a decent bash and see how you feel. I’d start with desktop then move to mobile.

Pick the Right Debit Date

The day you start the free trial is the day your account will be debited (after the free trial). So I’m going to cancel mine on the 26th of the month and restart it just so that I can have a decent debit order date! Mid-month debit orders do my head in!

Start with Desktop, Move to Mobile

Give Spotify a bash at work, get your playlists in order and then use the mobile app secondarily. You’ll be chowing through data if you use the app only off wifi so I reckon start with desktop, move to mobile. You can download your playlists to mobile and save your data as well, it’s all about being organised.

Interact with Spotify

Don’t forget to click thumbs up or thumbs down, this will tell Spotify what you like, don’t like and improve the service even more.

My Family on Spotify

Don’t forget to check out my Dad’s music: Bedrock – The Band in the Sand is perfect Dad rock music, your folks should love it! My brother’s music: Dan Shout – for the South African jazz lover and my husband’s music: Hyphen for the drum n bass head.

I love Spotify and I’m SUPER happy it’s in SA! I’ll definitely continue using it on desktop predominantly and then the mobile app will store all my engagements and stuff automatically which means it will work better in the future.

Please let me know how you’re finding it in the comments below or on Facebook/Twitter. 🙂


  • Swedish Spotify user says:

    When using the desktop app/web player I simply search for anything I’d like to add to a playlist and drag the song down to the new playlist icon. Next song I just add to the playlist I’ve created. No need for right-clicking or hoovering. If you want a complete album in a playlist, you drag the album to it.

  • Munira says:

    I’m really disappointed that you can’t choose your own username! Instead, you’re given a random string of characters that’s your username and there’s no way to change it. It REALLY sucks because other accounts have their own, custom usernames but apparently we don’t get that option.

    • Hi Munira,
      I think it’s a technical glitch – I also noticed that!
      But my account says, “insert random letters here” but then when I go to media player, the bottom left has “Boring Cape Town Chick”.
      So I’m not sure if they’re going to fix that or what the issue is there!
      Currently, I still have to use my e-mail to log in though as well, not username.

  • Candice says:

    I’ve always seen these YouTubers go on about how amazing Spotify is! Glad they are finally avaialble for us South African’s!

    Candice |

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