Streaming music has become increasingly popular worldwide, and Nigeria is no exception. Many platforms now make it easier to stream many songs at a time rather than downloading them or finding hardware to store audio files.
Apple and Spotify are two of the most popular subscription-based streaming platforms that enable music lovers to access their favourite songs and artists with just a few clicks globally.
Spotify provides algorithmic suggestions tailored to users’ audio preferences and daily music and podcast discovery. Additionally, it allows subscribers to interact with various platforms and apps, including Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Samsung, Tinder, Google Maps, Nike, and others.
On the other hand, Apple Music provides its subscribers with tailored suggestions, curated playlists, and access to a huge collection of over 75 million songs. Users can also see music videos, listen to live radio stations, and access special content like artist interviews and behind-the-scenes pictures.
However, one challenge many Nigerians face when using these platforms is paying for their subscriptions. This is because the payment methods typically accepted in Nigeria may not be compatible with these international services.
Thankfully, there are several ways for Nigerians to pay for their Spotify and Apple Music subscriptions, even if they don’t have access to a credit card. This article will discuss three of the most popular and convenient methods.
What accounts are paid on Spotify
The Spotify Free model is restrictive because Spotify generates money by charging users for premium streaming subscriptions and charging outside parties for advertising space. Users can therefore stream songs for free in the free version but must contend with certain limitations.
However, the paid Premium account is the more convenient option as it removes the constraints of the free version. Users enjoy high-quality audio, unlimited mobile usage, and offline and online access to playlists. Spotify Premium has several versions, including the Spotify Premium Student, Spotify Premium Duo and Spotify Premium Family (6 people).
3 ways to pay for your subscriptions
It is important to note that Apple Music does not offer a completely free streaming service, but it does offer a three-month free trial for new users. After the trial period ends, users must pay a monthly subscription fee to continue using the service. However, some content, such as Beats 1 radio, can be listened to for free without a subscription.
The Naira debit or credit card – if there were one, would have been one of the easiest ways to pay for your Apple or Spotify subscription, even though before now, for some reason, most Naira MasterCards issued by banks do not work.
However, due to the lack of foreign currency, the CBN has been forced to halt international transactions on Naira debit cards (MasterCard and VISA). None of your Naira debit cards (MasterCard and VISA) will allow you to make foreign transactions or payments.
But recently, ALAT by Wema has started offering payment services for Spotify users through its Debit card.
Supposing there were no restrictions whatsoever, to set up your payment method on Apple, you need to follow these steps:
- Open the App Store on your device and click on your profile picture.
- Tap on “Payment & Shipping.”
- Select “Add Payment Method” and enter your card details.
- Confirm your billing address and click “Save.”
On Spotify, you can set up your payment method by following these steps:
- Open the Spotify app on your device and click on “Premium” at the bottom of the screen.
- Tap on “Upgrade.”
- Choose your payment method and enter your card details.
- Confirm your billing address and click “Start My Spotify Premium.”
It is advisable to confirm with your bank whether your card can be used for international transactions.
A virtual card is a digital version of a physical credit or debit card. It allows you to make online transactions without exposing your real card details. In Nigeria, there are several virtual card providers, such as Paga and Barter by Flutterwave, that you can use to pay for your Apple or Spotify subscription.
To use a virtual card, you need to follow these steps:
- Sign up for an account with a virtual card provider of your choice.
- Fund your account with the amount you want to use for your subscription.
- Generate a virtual card with the amount you funded.
- Use the virtual card details to make payments on Apple or Spotify.
Using a virtual card is a safe and convenient payment method because it lets you keep your real card details secure. Additionally, virtual cards can be generated quickly, making them a great option for making payments urgently.
Gift cards are another way to pay for your subscriptions to these platforms, although not so common among Nigerians.
To do so, you’ll need to have an active iTunes account and redeem your gift card balance to your account. Once you’ve done that, you can use the balance to pay for your Apple Music subscription. Here’s how:
- Step 1: Open the App Store or iTunes Store on your device.
- Step 2: Tap on your profile picture or the “Sign In” button in the screen’s upper-right corner.
- Step 3: Enter your Apple ID and password to sign in.
- Step 4: Tap on “Redeem Gift Card or Code.”
- Step 5: Use the camera on your device to scan the gift card or enter the code manually.
- Step 6: Once your balance has been added to your account, you can pay for your Apple Music subscription.
It is important to note that Spotify gift cards can only be used for regularly priced Spotify subscriptions, not student subscriptions. To redeem your Spotify gift card and pay for your subscription, follow these steps;
- Go to www.spotify.com/redeem on your Mac or PC and log in to your Spotify account.
- Enter the PIN or code on the back of your gift card. For the zip code, use the zip code of the address you entered when you opened the account.
- When you are done, click “ENTER CODE.”
- The card’s funds will be redeemed and deposited into your account, and then you can pay for your sub.
Spotify gift card users can only redeem up to 18 months of premium subscriptions on their account at once.
Only already activated gift cards can be redeemed on spotify.com. If you purchased your card from a store and it is yet to be activated, you might have to go back to the store and ask them to activate it. If your card does not work after 24 hours of activation or you find it hard to read the code, you can contact Spotify support to lodge any complaint.
Additional mention: MTN recharge for Apple Music
So, in April, MTN Nigeria announced a collaboration with Apple Music that allows its users to subscribe to the streaming platform with airtime instead of virtual cards, which commenced on April 14, 2023.
Also, part of the official partnership and announcement was that MTN and Apple Music offer Nigerian users a six-month trial period before they can easily pay with airtime recharged to their phone numbers.
So, lovers of Apple Music who use Android and iPhone will be able to use their MTN lines to subscribe to Apple Music for ₦1000 airtime monthly through SMS, USSD or the myMTN App.
It’s pretty much easy in the following ways and does not require a debit card at all:
- Via USSD: Dial *447# > Select New services > Select 4 Apple Music > select 1 for free and 2 for paid
- Via SMS: Send “Music” for a monthly subscription to 8000
- Via web on; MTN Play portal, mtn.ng, MyMTN App
After the SMS, you will receive a double confirmation page to consent. After you have consented by selecting ‘Accept Renewal’, you will receive an SMS from 8000 to access the service.
In conclusion, whichever method you choose in paying for your subscriptions on these platforms, always ensure that your transactions are secure and your details are not imputed into a third-party link you are unsure of.