Spotify (/ˈspɒtɪfaɪ/) is a Swedish audio streaming platform that provides DRM-protected music and podcasts from record labels and media companies. As a freemium service, basic features are free with advertisements or automatic music videos, while additional features, such as improved streaming quality, are offered via paid subscriptions.
Launched by Spotify AB on 7 October 2008, Spotify provides access to over forty million tracks. Users can browse by parameters such as artist, album, or genre, and can create, edit, and share playlists. Spotify is available in most of Europe and the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Africa and Asia, and on most modern devices, including Windows, macOS, and Linux computers, and iOS, Windows Phone, and Android smartphones and tablets. As of April 2019, it had 217 million monthly active users, including 100 million paying subscribers.
Unlike physical or download sales, which pay artists a fixed price per song or album sold, Spotify pays royalties based on the number of artists' streams as a proportion of total songs streamed. It distributes approximately 70% of total revenue to rights holders, who then pay artists based on their individual agreements. Spotify has faced criticism from artists and producers including Taylor Swift and Thom Yorke, who have argued that it does not fairly compensate musicians. In 2017, as part of its efforts to renegotiate license deals for an interest in going public, Spotify announced that artists would be able to make albums temporarily exclusive to paid subscriptions if they are part of Universal Music Group or the Merlin Network.
Spotify AB is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. Since February 2018 it has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange. In September 2018, the company moved its New York offices to 4 World Trade Center.
|Spotify Technology S.A.|
Screenshot of Spotify for iOS
|Type of business||Public|
|Traded as||NYSE: SPOT|
|Founded||23 April 2006|
|Country of origin||Sweden|
|No. of locations|
|Founder(s)||Daniel Ek, Martin Lorentzon|
|Industry||Streaming on-demand media|
|Revenue||US$5.98 billion (FY 2018)|
|Net income||US$88.65 million (FY 2018)|
|Alexa rank||106 (February 2019)|
(100 million paying)
|Launched||7 October 2008|
Spotify operates under a freemium business model (basic services are free, while additional features are offered via paid subscriptions). Spotify generates revenues by selling premium streaming subscriptions to users and advertising placements to third parties.
In December 2013, the company launched a new website, "Spotify for Artists", that explained its business model and revenue data. Spotify gets its content from major record labels as well as independent artists, and pays copyright holders royalties for streamed music. The company pays 70% of its total revenue to rights holders. Spotify for Artists states that the company does not have a fixed per-play rate, instead considers factors such as the user's home country and the individual artist's royalty rate. Rights holders received an average per-play payout between $.006 and $.0084.
Spotify offers an unlimited subscription package, close to the Open Music Model (OMM)—estimated economic equilibrium—for the recording industry. However, the incorporation of digital rights management (DRM) protection diverges from the OMM and competitors such as iTunes Store and Amazon Music that have dropped DRM.
Spotify encourages people to pay for music, with subscriptions as its main revenue source. The subscription removes advertisements and limits, and increases song bitrates to 320 kbit/s. For example, in Norway, the figure of 1.2 billion unauthorized song downloads in 2008 is compared to a figure of 210 million from 2012.
BBC Music Week editor Tim Ingham wrote: "Unlike buying a CD or download, streaming is not a one-off payment. Hundreds of millions of streams of tracks are happening each and every day, which quickly multiplies the potential revenues on offer – and is a constant long-term source of income for artists."
As of November 2018, the three Spotify subscription types, all offering unlimited listening time, are:
|Type||Free of ads||Mobile listening||Enhanced sound quality (up to 320kbit/s bitrate)||Listen offline||Spotify Connect|
(Spotify Connect speaker with new SDK)
|Spotify Premium &
Spotify for family
In March 2014, Spotify introduced a new, discounted Premium subscription tier for students. Students in the United States enrolled in a university can pay half-price for a Premium subscription. In April 2017, the Students offer was expanded to 33 more countries.
Spotify introduced its Family subscription in October 2014, connecting up to five family members for a shared Premium subscription. Spotify Family was upgraded in May 2016, letting up to six people share a subscription and reducing the price.
In November 2018, Spotify announced it is opening up Spotify Connect to all of the users using its Free service, however these changes still required products supporting Spotify Connect to support the latest SDK.
In 2007, just after launch, the company made a loss of 31.8 million Swedish kronor ($4.4 million).
Years after growth and expansion, a November 2012 report suggested strong momentum for the company. In 2011, it reported a near US$60 million net loss from revenue of $244 million, while it was expected to generate a net loss of $40 million from revenue of $500 million in 2012.
Another source of income was music purchases from within the app. This service was removed in January 2013.
In May 2016, Spotify announced "Sponsored Playlists", a monetisation opportunity in which brands are able to specify the audiences they have in mind, with Spotify matching the marketer with suitable music in a playlist.
That September, Spotify announced that it had paid a total of over $5 billion to the music industry. In June 2017, as part of renegotiated licenses with Universal Music Group and Merlin Network, Spotify's financial filings revealed its agreement to pay more than $2 billion in minimum payments over the next two years.
As of 2017, Spotify was not yet a profitable company.
In February 2010, Spotify received a small investment from Founders Fund, where board member Sean Parker was recruited to assist Spotify in "winning the labels over in the world's largest music market".
In June 2011, Spotify secured $100 million of funding, and planned to use this to support its US launch. The new round of funding valued the company at $1 billion.
In April 2015, Spotify began another round of fundraising, with a report from The Wall Street Journal stating it was seeking $400 million, which would value the company at $8.4 billion. The financing was closed in June 2015, with Spotify raising $526 million, at a value of $8.53 billion.
In January 2016, Spotify raised another $500 million through convertible bonds.
In March 2016, Spotify raised $1 billion in financing by debt plus a discount of 20% on shares once the initial public offering (IPO) of shares takes place. The company was, according to TechCrunch, planning to launch on the stock market in 2017, but in 2017 it was seen as planning on doing the IPO in 2018 in order to "build up a better balance sheet and work on shifting its business model to improve its margins".
Spotify offers advertisers ten different types of advertising formats, described in 2016 as: Branded Moments, Sponsored Playlists, Sponsored Sessions, Video Takeovers, Audio, Display, Overlay, Homepage Takeovers, Branded Playlists, and Advertiser Pages. These advertisements vary in size, type and user engagement.
Starting in March 2009, Spotify offered music downloads in the United Kingdom, France, and Spain. Users could purchase each track from Spotify, which partnered with 7digital to incorporate the feature. However, the ability to purchase and download music tracks via the app was removed on 4 January 2013.
In November 2015, Spotify introduced a "Fan Insights" panel in limited beta form, letting artists and managers access data on monthly listeners, geographical data, demographic information, music preferences and more. In April 2017, the panel was upgraded to leave beta status, renamed as "Spotify for Artists", and opening up to all artists and managers. Additional features include the ability to get "verified" status with a blue checkmark on an artist's profile, receiving artist support from Spotify, and customising the profile page with photos and promoting a certain song as their "pick".
In September 2018, Spotify announced "Upload Beta", allowing artists to upload directly from the platform instead of going through a distributor or record label. The feature is being rolled out by invitation to a small amount of US based artists. Uploading has no charges, and artists receive 100% of the revenue from songs they have uploaded. Artists are also able to control when their release goes public as well.
In June 2017, Variety reported that Spotify would announce "Secret Genius", a new initiative aimed at highlighting songwriters and producers, and the effect those people have to the music industry and the artists' careers. The new project, which will feature awards, "Songshops" songwriting workshops, curated playlists, and podcasts, is an effort to "shine a light on these people behind the scenes who play such a big role in some of the most important moments of our lives. When the general public hears a song they automatically associate it with the artist who sings it, not the people behind the scenes who make it happen, so we thought the title Secret Genius was appropriate", Spotify's Global Head of Creator Services Troy Carter told Variety. The first awards ceremony will take place in late 2017, and is intended to honour "the top songwriters, producers and publishers in the industry as well as up-and-coming talent". Additionally, as part of "The Ambassador Program", 13 songwriters will each host a Songshop workshop, in which their peers will collaboratively attempt to create a hit song, with the first workshop to take place in Los Angeles sometime in June 2017.
On 31 January 2018, Spotify started testing a new Pandora-styled standalone app called Stations by Spotify for Australian Android users. It features 62 music channels, each devoted to a particular genre. Spotify itself has two channels named after its playlists that link directly to the users' profile: "Release Radar" and "Discover Weekly". The aim is to get users to listen to the music they want straightaway without information overload or spending time building their own playlists. At launch, the skipping feature is not featured to "reinforce the feel of radio", but it was quietly added later, and with no limits. Songs can be "loved" but can't be "hated". If a song is "loved", a custom radio channel will be created based on it, and when there are at least 15 songs, a "My Favourites" channel is unlocked. In case the users don't subscribe to Spotify Premium, they'll hear location-targeted adverts.
|Initial release||7 October 2008|
|Written in||Primarily Python, with some Java, C, and C++ components|
|Operating system||Android, iOS, Windows, macOS and Linux|
Spotify has client software available for Windows, macOS, and Linux PCs, along with Android, iOS, and Windows Phone smartphones and tablets. It also has a proprietary protocol known as "Spotify Connect", which lets users listen to music through a wide range of entertainment systems, including speakers, receivers, TVs, cars, and smartwatches. Spotify also features a web player, for those who are unable to – or do not want to – download any app. Contrary to the apps, the web player does not have the ability to download music for offline listening. In June 2017, Spotify became available as an app through Windows Store.
On Spotify's apps, music can be browsed or searched for via various parameters, such as artist, album, genre, playlist, or record label. Users can create, edit and share playlists, share tracks on social media, and make playlists with other users. Spotify provides access to over 40 million songs.
In November 2011, Spotify introduced a Spotify Apps service that made it possible for third-party developers to design applications that could be hosted within the Spotify computer software. The applications provided features such as synchronised lyrics, music reviews, and song recommendations. In June 2012, Soundrop became the first Spotify app to attract major funding, receiving $3 million from Spotify investor Northzone. However, after the June 2014 announcement of a Web API that allowed third-party developers to integrate Spotify content in their own web applications, the company discontinued its Spotify Apps platform in October, stating that its new development tools for the Spotify web player fulfilled many of the advantages of the former Spotify Apps service, but "would ensure the Spotify platform remained relevant and easy to develop on, as well as enabling you to build innovative and engaging music experiences".
In April 2012, Spotify introduced a "Spotify Play Button", an embeddable music player that can be added to blogs, websites, or social media profiles, that lets visitors listen to a specific song, playlist or album without leaving the page. The following November, the company began rolling out a web player, with a similar design to its computer programs, but without the requirement of any installation.
In December 2012, Spotify introduced a "Follow" tab and a "Discover" tab, along with a "Collection" section. "Follow" lets users follow artists and friends to see what they are listening to, while "Discover" gives users new releases from their favourite artists, as well as music, review, and concert recommendations based on listening history. Users can add all tracks to a "Collection" section of the app, rather than adding to a specific playlist. The features were announced by CEO Daniel Ek at a press conference, with Ek stating that a common user complaint about the service was that "Spotify is great when you know what music you want to listen to, but not when you don't", adding that "20,000" new songs got added to the service on a daily basis. "You're fighting with 20 million songs on Spotify", Ek stated.
In May 2015, Spotify announced a new Home start page that would serve up recommended music, with recommendations improving over time. The company also introduced "Spotify Running", a feature aimed at improving music while running with music matched to running tempo (this feature was removed in March 2018 from Mobile client), and announced that podcasts and videos ("entertainment, news and clips") would be coming to Spotify, along with "Spotify Originals" content. "We’re bringing you a deeper, richer, more immersive Spotify experience", commented CEO Daniel Ek.
In January 2016, Spotify and music annotation service Genius formed a partnership, bringing annotation information from Genius into infocards presented while songs are playing in Spotify. The functionality is limited to select playlists and was only available on Spotify's iOS app at launch, being expanded to the Android app in April 2017.
In May 2017, Spotify introduced Spotify Codes for its mobile apps, a way for users to share specific artists, tracks, playlists or albums with other people. Users find the relevant content to share and press a "soundwave-like barcode" on the display. A camera icon in the apps' search fields lets other users point their device's camera at the code, which takes them to the exact content.
In January 2019, Spotify introduced Car View for Android, allowing devices running android to have compact Now Playing screen if the device connected to Car Bluetooth. The company mentioned in Spotify Community forum that this feature can be either temporary disabled until next drive or permanently disabled in the settings and exclusively Bluetooth connection thus AUX cable connection currently listed as incompatible. Also in January 2019, Spotify beta-tested its Canvas feature, where artists and/or labels can upload looping 3 to 8-second moving visuals to select tracks, replacing album covers in the "Now Playing" view, however, users can have the option to turn off the feature. Canvas is only available for Spotify's iOS and Android mobile apps.
In July 2015, Spotify launched Discover Weekly, a weekly generated playlist, updated on Mondays, that brings users two hours of custom-made music recommendations, mixing a user's personal taste with songs enjoyed by similar listeners. In December 2015, Quartz reported that songs in Discover Weekly playlists had been streamed 1.7 billion times, and Spotify wrote in May 2016 that Discover Weekly had reached "nearly" 5 billion tracks streamed since the July 2015 launch.
In March 2016, built by Discover Weekly's success, Spotify launched six new generated playlists branded as Fresh Finds including the main playlist and Fire Emoji, Basement, Hiptronix, Six Strings and Cyclone (hip-hop, electronic, pop, guitar-driven and experimental music respectively). The playlists spotlight lesser-known musicians and their songs which are listened to by 100,000 randomly chosen users and are talked about on 10 to 20,000 music blogs. They are updated every Wednesday, and can contain a maximum of up to 50 songs.
In August 2016, Spotify launched Release Radar, a personalised playlist that allows users to stay up-to-date on new music released by artists they listen to the most. It also helps users discover new music, by mixing in other artists' music. The playlist is updated every Friday, and can be a maximum of up to two hours in length.
In September 2016, Spotify introduced Daily Mix, a series of (up to six) playlists that have "near endless playback" and mixes the user's favourite tracks with new, recommended songs. New users can access Daily Mix after approximately two weeks of listening to music through Spotify. Daily Mixes were only available on the Android and iOS mobile apps at launch, but the feature was later expanded to Spotify's computer app in December 2016.
Spotify has experimented with different limitations to users' listening on the Free service tier.
In April 2011, Spotify announced via a blog post that they would drastically cut the amount of music that free members could access, effective 1 May 2011. The post stated that all free members would be limited to ten hours of music streaming per month, and in addition, individual tracks were limited to five plays. New users were exempt from these changes for six months. In March 2013, the five-play individual track limit was removed for users in the United Kingdom, and media reports stated that users in the United States, Australia and New Zealand never had the limit in the first place.
In December 2013, CEO Daniel Ek announced that Android and iOS smartphone users with the free service tier could listen to music in Shuffle mode, a feature in which users can stream music by specific artists and playlists without being able to pick which songs to hear. Mobile listening previously was not allowed in Spotify Free accounts. Ek stated that "We're giving people the best free music experience in the history of the smartphone."
In January 2014, Spotify removed all time limits for Free users on all platforms, including on computers, which previously had a 10-hour monthly listening limit after a 6-month grace period.
In April 2018, Spotify began to allow Free users to listen on-demand to whatever songs they want for an unlimited number of times, as long as the song is on one of the user's 15 personalized discovery playlists.
As of April 2019, all service users are limited to 10,000 songs in their library, after which they will receive an "Epic collection, friend" notification, and will not be able to save more music to their library. Adding playlists at this point also arbitrarily removes older playlists from the users' library.
|Desktop||Android||iPhone, iPad||Web player||Chromecast|
|24 kbit/s HE-AACv2||24 kbit/s Ogg Vorbis|
|96kbit/s Ogg Vorbis|
|160kbit/s Ogg Vorbis|
|320kbit/s Ogg Vorbis
|320kbit/s Ogg Vorbis|
Spotify allows users to add local audio files for music not in its catalogue into the user's library through Spotify's desktop application, and then allows users to synchronise those music files to Spotify's mobile apps or other computers over the same Wi-Fi network as the primary computer by creating a Spotify playlist, and adding those local audio files to the playlist. Audio files must either be in the .mp3, .mp4 (.mp4 files that have video streams are not supported), or .m4p media formats. This feature is available only for Premium subscribers.
In April 2014, Spotify moved away from the peer-to-peer (P2P) system they had used to distribute music to users. Previously, a desktop user would listen to music from one of three sources: a cached file on the computer, one of Spotify's servers, or from other subscribers through the P2P system. P2P, a well-established Internet distribution system, served as an alternative that reduced Spotify's server resources and costs. However, Spotify ended the P2P setup in 2014, with Spotify's Alison Bonny telling TorrentFreak: "We’re gradually phasing out the use of our desktop P2P technology which has helped our users enjoy their music both speedily and seamlessly. We’re now at a stage where we can power music delivery through our growing number of servers and ensure our users continue to receive a best-in-class service."
Spotify was developed in 2006 by a team at Spotify AB, in Stockholm, Sweden. The company was founded by Daniel Ek, former CTO of Stardoll, and Martin Lorentzon, co-founder of TradeDoubler. The company's title, according to Daniel Ek, was initially misheard from a name shouted by Martin Lorentzon. Later they thought out an etymology of a combination of "spot" and "identify". Spotify Sweden AB, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, handles research and development. The company is a subsidiary of Spotify Ltd., a company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, which in turn is a subsidiary of Spotify Technology S.A., headquartered in Luxembourg. Spotify has offices in 20 countries as of November 2016.
The Spotify application was launched on 7 October 2008. While free accounts remained available by invitation to manage the growth of the service, the launch opened paid subscriptions to everyone. At the same time, Spotify AB announced licensing deals with major music labels.
In February 2009, Spotify opened public registration for the free service tier in the United Kingdom. Registrations surged following the release of the mobile service, leading Spotify to halt registration for the free service in September, returning the UK to an invitation-only policy. Premium cards were offered for the 2009 Christmas season that allowed recipients to upgrade an account to "Premium" status for 1, 3, 6 or 12 months.
For the service's launch in the United States in July 2011, Spotify had a six-month free ad-supported trial period, where new users could listen to an unlimited amount of music. In January 2012, the free trial started expiring, with users limited to ten hours each month and five song replays. In March, Spotify removed all limits on the free service tier indefinitely.
In April 2016, Ek and Lorentzon wrote an open letter to Swedish politicians demanding action in three areas that they claimed hindered the company's ability to recruit top talent as Spotify grows, including access to flexible housing, better education in the programming and development fields, and stock options. Ek and Lorentzon wrote that in order to continue competing in a global economy, politicians needed to respond with new policies, or else thousands of Spotify jobs would be moved from Sweden to the United States.
Towards the end of 2016, the company launched its "largest [marketing] campaign to date", by placing large-scale billboards in major cities around the world that humorously mocked users' listening habits. Billboards featured commentary such as "Dear person who made a playlist called: ‘One Night Stand With Jeb Bush Like He’s a Bond Girl in a European Casino.’ We have so many questions"; "To the 1,235 guys who loved the “Girls Night” playlist this year, We love you", and "Dear person who played ‘Sorry’ 42 times on Valentine's Day, What did you do?” Spotify's Chief Marketing Officer Seth Farbman told Creativity that "there has been some debate about whether big data is muting creativity in marketing, but we have turned that on its head ... For us, data inspires and gives an insight into the emotion that people are expressing."
In February 2017, Spotify announced a major expansion of its US operations in Lower Manhattan, New York City, at 4 World Trade Center, into one of its largest operations, adding approximately 1,000 new jobs and retaining 832 existing positions. The company's US headquarters are located in New York City's Flatiron District.
In 14 November 2018, The company announced a total of 13 new markets in the MENA region, including the creation of a new Arabic hub and several playlists, while supporting Right-to-left text in their apps.
In October 2015, "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran became the first song to pass 500 million streams. A month later, Spotify announced that "Lean On" by Major Lazer and DJ Snake featuring MØ was its most streamed song of all time with over 525 million streams worldwide. In April 2016, Rihanna overtook Justin Bieber to become the biggest artist on Spotify, with 31.3 million monthly active listeners. In May 2016, Rihanna was overtaken by Drake with 3.185 billion total streams. In December 2016, Drake's just-under 36 million monthly listeners were overtaken by the Weeknd's 36.068 million. Later that month, Drake's song "One Dance" became the first song to hit one billion streams on Spotify. Upon its release in August 2017, the single "Look What You Made Me Do" by Taylor Swift earned over eight million streams within 24 hours, breaking the record for the most single-day streams for a track. On June 19, 2018, XXXTentacion's hit single "Sad!" broke Swift's single-day streaming record, amassing 10.4 million streams the day after he was fatally shot in Florida.
In March 2011, Spotify announced a customer base of one million paying subscribers across Europe, and by September 2011, the number of paying subscribers had doubled to two million. In August 2012, Time reported 15 million active users, four million being paying Spotify subscribers. User growth continued, reaching 20 million total active users, including 5 million paying customers globally and 1 million paying customers in the United States, in December 2012. By March 2013, the service had 24 million active users, 6 million being paying subscribers, which grew to 40 million users (including 10 million paying) in May 2014, 60 million users (including 15 million paying) in December 2014, 75 million users (20 million paying) in June 2015, 30 million paying subscribers in March 2016, 40 million subscribers in September 2016, and 100 million total users in June 2016.
As of April 2019, Spotify had 217 million active users, including over 100 million paying subscribers.
According to TechCrunch, Spotify was planning to launch on the stock market in 2017, but is instead planning on doing the IPO in 2018 in order to "build up a better balance sheet and work on shifting its business model to improve its margins". The value of its IPO is estimated to be in a range of $6.3 billion to $23 billion. The latter figure would make Spotify's IPO one of the biggest in the tech sector since 2012. However, unlike in an ordinary public offering, Spotify will not issue new shares, but the company's existing shareholders will be taking their shares directly to the market. This approach is not intended to raise fresh capital, but to let investors get their returns. Morgan Stanley is the company's slated advisor on the matter.
Financial Times reported in March 2017 that, as part of its efforts to renegotiate new licensing deals with music labels, Spotify and major record labels had agreed that Spotify will restrict some newly released albums to its Premium tier, with Spotify receiving a reduction in royalty fees to do so. Select albums would be available only on the Premium tier for a period of time, before general release. The deal "may be months away from being finalized, but Spotify is said to have cleared this particular clause with major record labels". New reports in April confirmed that Spotify and Universal Music Group had reached an agreement to allow artists part of Universal to limit their new album releases to the Premium service tier for a maximum of two weeks. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek commented that "We know that not every album by every artist should be released the same way, and we’ve worked hard with UMG to develop a new, flexible release policy. Starting today, Universal artists can choose to release new albums on premium only for two weeks, offering subscribers an earlier chance to explore the complete creative work, while the singles are available across Spotify for all our listeners to enjoy". It was announced later in April that this type of agreement would be extended to indie artists signed to the Merlin Network agency.
In March 2014, Spotify announced that it had acquired The Echo Nest, a music intelligence company that has "in depth musical understanding and tools for curation to drive music discovery for millions of users around the globe". In June 2015, Spotify acquired Seed Scientific, a data science consulting firm and analytics company. In a comment to TechCrunch, Spotify said that Seed Scientific's team would lead an Advanced Analytics unit within the company focused on developing data services. In April 2016, Spotify acquired CrowdAlbum, a "startup that collects photos and videos of performances shared on social networks", and would "enhance the development of products that help artists understand, activate, and monetize their audiences". In March 2017, Spotify acquired Sonalytic, an audio detection startup, for an undisclosed amount of money. Spotify stated that Sonalytic will be used to improve the company's personalised playlists, better match songs with compositions, and improve the company's publishing data system. Spotify also acquired MightyTV later in March, an app connected to television streaming services, including Netflix and HBO Go, that recommends content to users. Spotify will mainly be using MightyTV to improve its advertising efforts on the free tier of service. In April 2017, Spotify acquired Mediachain, a blockchain startup with several technologies that can aid Spotify's effort in connecting artists and rights-holders with the tracks on its service. In May 2017, Spotify acquired artificial intelligence startup Niland, and will use its technology to improve its personalisation and recommendation features for users. In November 2017, Spotify acquired SoundTrap, an online music studio startup. On 12 April 2018, Spotify acquired the music licensing platform Loudr. On 6 February 2019, the company announced it would acquire New York podcasting companies Gimlet Media and Anchor FM Inc., establishing itself as a major player in podcasting. On March, Spotify announced to acquire another podcast network, Parcast.
In January 2015, Sony announced PlayStation Music, a new music service with Spotify as its exclusive partner. PlayStation Music incorporates the Spotify service into Sony's PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 gaming consoles, and Sony Xperia mobile devices, in 41 markets around the world. The service enables users to listen to their favourite tracks while gaming. The new service launched on 30 March 2015.
In March 2017, Spotify announced a partnership with the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference for 2017, presenting specific content in special playlists through a SXSW hub in Spotify's Browse tab in the mobile and desktop apps. The integration also enabled Spotify within the SXSW GO app to help users discover and explore artists performing at the conference. Two more partnerships were announced in March; one with WNYC Studios, and one with Waze. The WNYC Studios partnership will bring various podcasts from WNYC to Spotify, including Note To Self, On the Media and Here's the Thing. Spotify also announced that the third season of WNYC Studios' 2 Dope Queens podcast will premiere with a two-week exclusivity period on the service on 21 March 2017. The podcasts will be available for all Spotify Free and Premium users. The Waze partnership will allow Android app users to view directions to destinations within the Spotify app, and access their Spotify playlists through the Waze app.
In December 2017, Spotify and Tencent's music arm, Tencent Music Entertainment (TME), agreed to swap stakes and make investment in each other's music businesses, forming an alliance in the music industry. As a result of this transaction, Spotify gained a 9% stake in TME with TME gaining a 7.5% stake in Spotify.
In February 2018, Spotify and Discord teamed up, allowing Discord desktop app users, on both PC and Mac, to publicly display on their profile what music they're listening to, and if the users have Spotify's Premium service, they can listen to each other's music together in real-time.
In July 2015, Spotify launched an email campaign to urge its App Store subscribers to cancel their subscriptions and start new ones through its website, bypassing the 30% transaction fee for in-app purchases required for iOS applications by technology company Apple Inc. A later update to the Spotify app on iOS was rejected by Apple, prompting Spotify's general counsel Horacio Gutierrez to write a letter to Apple's then-general counsel Bruce Sewell, stating: "This latest episode raises serious concerns under both U.S. and EU competition law. It continues a troubling pattern of behavior by Apple to exclude and diminish the competitiveness of Spotify on iOS and as a rival to Apple Music, particularly when seen against the backdrop of Apple's previous anticompetitive conduct aimed at Spotify … we cannot stand by as Apple uses the App Store approval process as a weapon to harm competitors."
Sewell responded to the letter: "We find it troubling that you are asking for exemptions to the rules we apply to all developers and are publicly resorting to rumors and half-truths about our service." He also elaborated that "Our guidelines apply equally to all app developers, whether they are game developers, e-book sellers, video-streaming services or digital music distributors; and regardless of whether or not they compete against Apple. We did not alter our behavior or our rules when we introduced our own music streaming service or when Spotify became a competitor". Furthermore, he stated that "There is nothing in Apple’s conduct that ‘amounts to a violation of applicable antitrust laws.’ Far from it. ... I would be happy to facilitate an expeditious review and approval of your app as soon as you provide us with something that is compliant with the App Store's rules".
The following months, Spotify began efforts to "punish" artists who gave Apple Music exclusives by displaying their content less prominently on Spotify and offering fewer promotional opportunities, and joined several other companies in filing a letter with the European Union's anti-trust body vaguely accusing Apple and Google of "abusing their 'privileged position' at the top of the market", by referring to "some" companies as having "transformed into 'gatekeepers' rather than 'gateways'". The complaint led to the European Union announcing that it will prepare an initiative by the end of 2017 for a possible law addressing unfair competition practices.
Spotify released its first version of the Apple Watch app in November 2018, which features playback control of the iPhone via the watch. Users can also choose which devices to play music on via Bluetooth. In further escalation of the spat with Apple, on 13 March 2019, Spotify filed an anti-trust complaint with the European commission over unfair app store practices. Two days later Apple responded stating that the complaint was a misleading rhetoric and that Spotify wanted benefits of a free app without being a free app. Spotify responded with a statement calling Apple as a monopolist and stated in their statement that Apple's response was as expected and they had only filed the complaint as Apple's actions hurt competition and consumers and was in clear violation of law. It also said that Apple believed Spotify users on app store were Apple's customers and not Spotify's.
An article was written in the scholarly journal IEEE Software in February 2019 outlines Spotify's strategy to assist its engineers in software development across geographically disparate offices and teams. The organizational framework supporting Spotify's software development is extensive, grouping their employees first into "tribes", which are composed of between 30 and 200 engineers each, with a clear mission, set of principles and a senior leader. Within each tribe are smaller groups called squads and chapters: squads are meant to feel like mini-start-ups facilitating creativity by including cross-functional roles, whereas chapters share the same manager and are meant to be focused on personal growth and skills development by discussing shared challenges. Bridging these groups is a concept called a "guild", which is made up of employees with similar skills and interests, hoping to share their coding experiences and knowledge. Guilds are different from the other groups in that they are voluntary and not restricted to each geographical office whereas the others are physically separate.
In August 2017, Spotify was the most downloaded music app on the iOS platform in the United States.
Spotify has attracted significant criticism since its 2008 launch. The primary point of criticism centres around what artists, music creators and the media have described as "unsustainable" compensation. Unlike physical sales or legal downloads, which pay artists a fixed price per song or album sold, Spotify pays royalties based on their "market share"—the number of streams for their songs as a proportion of total songs streamed on the service. Spotify distributes approximately 70% of its total revenue to rights-holders, who will then pay artists based on their individual agreements.
Spotify has been criticized by artists including Thom Yorke and Taylor Swift, who withdrew their music from the service. Their catalogues returned to the service in 2017. While the streaming music industry in general faces the same critique about inadequate payments, Spotify, being the leading service, faces particular scrutiny due to its free service tier, allowing users to listen to music for free, though with advertisements between tracks. The free service tier has led to a variety of major album releases being delayed or withdrawn from the service. In response to the allegations about unfair compensation, Spotify claims that it is benefitting the industry by migrating users away from piracy and less monetised platforms to its free service tier, and then encouraging them to upgrade to paid accounts. A study has shown that record labels keep a high amount of the money earned from Spotify, and the CEO of Merlin Network, a representative body for over 10,000 independent labels, has also observed significant yearly growth rates in earnings from Spotify, while clarifying that Spotify pays labels, not artists.
In May 2018, Spotify attracted criticism for its "Hate Content & Hateful Conduct policy" that removed the music of R. Kelly and XXXTentacion from its editorial and algorithmic playlists because "When we look at promotion, we look at issues around hateful conduct, where you have an artist or another creator who has done something off-platform that is so particularly out of line with our values, egregious, in a way that it becomes something that we don't want to associate ourselves with". R. Kelly has faced accusations of sexual abuse, while XXXTentacion was on trial for domestic abuse in a case that did not reach a judgement before his death that June. This policy was revoked in June because the company deemed the original wording to be too "vague"; they stated that "Across all genres, our role is not to regulate artists. Therefore, we are moving away from implementing a policy around artist conduct". However, artists such as Gary Glitter and Lostprophets are still hidden from Spotify's radio stations and search results.
Spotify has also come under criticism for carrying podcasts of the right wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. He claims, for instance, that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting where 20 children were killed in 2012 was a government hoax. It has, however, decided to remove some of his media content.
Alan Olav Walker (born 24 August 1997) is a Norwegian DJ and record producer, born in Northampton, United Kingdom. He is best known for his 2015 single "Faded" which received diamond certification in Germany and multi-platinum certifications in over 10 countries including the US and the UK. He released his debut studio album, Different World, in 2018. He was ranked 36th on DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs list of 2018.AnyDecentMusic?
AnyDecentMusic? is a website that collates album reviews from magazines, websites, and newspaper. It includes music albums, covering rock, pop, electronic, dance, folk, country, roots and urban. Reviews are sourced from more than 50 websites, magazines and newspapers, largely from the US and UK, but also from Canada, Ireland and Australia.Apache Ambari
Apache Ambari is a software project of the Apache Software Foundation. Ambari enables system administrators to provision, manage and monitor a Hadoop cluster, and also to integrate Hadoop with the existing enterprise infrastructure. Ambari was a sub-project of Hadoop but is now a top-level project in its own right.
Ambari is used by companies including IBM, Hortonworks, Cardinal Health, EBay, Expedia, Kayak.com, Lending club, Neustar, Macy's, Pandora Radio, Samsung, Shutterfly, and Spotify.Apple Music
Apple Music is a music and video streaming service developed by Apple Inc. Users select music to stream to their device on-demand, or they can listen to existing, curated playlists. The service also includes the Internet radio station Beats 1, which broadcasts live to over 100 countries 24 hours a day. The service was announced on June 8, 2015, and launched on June 30, 2015 in over 100 countries worldwide. New subscribers get a three-month free trial period before the service requires a monthly subscription.
Originally strictly a music service, Apple Music began expanding into video in 2016. Executive Jimmy Iovine has stated that the intention for the service is to become a "cultural platform", and Apple reportedly wants the service to be a "one-stop shop for pop culture". The company is actively investing heavily in the production and purchasing of video content, both in terms of music videos and concert footage that support music releases, as well as web series and feature films.
The original iOS version of Apple Music received mixed reviews, with criticism directed towards a user interface deemed "not intuitive". However, it was praised for its playlist curation, vast library of songs to stream, and its integration with other Apple devices and services. In iOS 10, the app received a significant redesign, which received positive reviews for an updated interface with less clutter, improved navigation, and bigger emphasis on users' libraries. Apple Music rapidly gained popularity after its launch, passing the milestone of 10 million subscribers in only six months. The service boasts 56 million subscribers around the world as of December 2018.Big Machine Records
Big Machine Records is an American independent record label, which distributed by Universal Music Group, specializing in country and pop artists. Big Machine is based on Music Row in Nashville, Tennessee. The label was founded in September 2005 by former DreamWorks Records executive Scott Borchetta and became a joint venture between Borchetta and country singer Toby Keith. The company concentrates on publishing, management, and merchandising and oversees imprints, such as Valory Music, that are part of the Big Machine Label Group.Billboard charts
The Billboard charts tabulate the relative weekly popularity of songs and albums in the United States and elsewhere. The results are published in Billboard magazine. Billboard biz, the online extension of the Billboard charts, provides additional weekly charts. There are also Year End charts. The charts may be dedicated to specific genre such as R&B, country or rock, or they may cover all genres. The charts can be ranked according to sales, streams or airplay, and for main song charts such as the Hot 100 song chart, all three pools of data are used to compile the charts. For the Billboard 200 album chart, streams and track sales are included in addition to album sales.The weekly sales and streams charts are monitored on a Friday-to-Thursday cycle since July 2015, previously it was on a Monday-to-Sunday cycle. Radio airplay song charts however follows the Monday to Sunday cycle (previously Wednesday to Tuesday). The charts are released each Tuesday with an issue date the following Saturday, four days later.Century Media Records
Century Media Records is a heavy metal record label with offices in the United States, Germany and London. In August 2015, Century Media was acquired by Sony Music for US $17 million.Daniel Ek
Daniel Ek (born 21 February 1983) is a Swedish billionaire entrepreneur and technologist. Ek is best known as the co-founder and CEO of the music streaming service Spotify.Kim Petras
Kim Petras (born 27 August 1992) is a German singer and songwriter, currently based in Los Angeles. Petras was born and raised in Cologne, where she had become subject of media coverage after undergoing gender transition at a young age. Petras began recording music as a teenager, releasing her debut extended play One Piece of Tape in 2011. She independently released her debut single in 2017, the Dr. Luke-produced "I Don't Want It at All", which went on to top several viral music charts on Spotify, resulting in Petras landing a partnership with her company. Following her early success, Petras released a slew of digital singles and the EP Turn Off the Light (2018) for Halloween.
As of December 1, 2018, Petras' songs have been streamed over 125 million times on Spotify alone.List of most-streamed artists on Spotify
This is a list of the most-streamed artists on Spotify.List of most-streamed songs on Spotify
This list of most-streamed songs on Spotify contains the top 100 songs with the most streams of all time, as derived from Spotify charts. As of May 2019, only 4 songs have exceeded 1.5 billion streams, with Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" ranked in the top position as the only song to exceed 2 billion streams. As much as 31 songs have exceeded 1 billion streams.
Prior to November 2013, Spotify's most streamed song was "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons; it was overtaken by Avicii's "Wake Me Up", which became the first song to hit 200 million streams on 27 November 2013. "Wake Me Up" held the streaming record for over a year before being surpassed on 22 February 2015 by Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud", which became the first song to hit 500 million streams on 12 July 2015. A month later, however, it was surpassed by Major Lazer and DJ Snake's "Lean On", featuring MØ, which held the streaming record for 11 months until Drake's "One Dance", featuring Wizkid and Kyla, overtook it on 18 October 2016. "One Dance" held the streaming record for almost a year before being surpassed by "Shape of You" on 21 September 2017.As of May 2019, the artists with the most singles in the top 100 are Justin Bieber with a total of 8 singles (3 as a lead artist and 5 as a featured artist), Post Malone with 6 lead singles and Drake with 5 singles (4 lead and 1 featured). The fastest song to reach 1 billion streams on Spotify is "Shape of You", doing so in 153 days, and it is also the fastest and only song to reach 2 billion streams, doing so in 702 days. Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" from 1975 is the only song in the Spotify Top 100 that was released in the 20th century.
As of May 2019, the albums with the most songs in the top 100 are Bieber's Purpose, with 4, Post Malone's Beerbongs & Bentleys and Dua Lipa's Dua Lipa with 3 each.Live from Spotify London
Live from Spotify London is the ninth EP by British rock band Coldplay. The album was recorded in the Spotify headquarters, London, in 14 November 2016. The album was surprise-released exclusively through the streaming service Spotify on 16 December 2016.MisterWives
MisterWives is an American indie pop band based in New York City, consisting of lead singer Mandy Lee (Amanda Lee Duffy), percussionist Etienne Bowler, bass guitarist William Hehir, guitarist Marc Campbell, multi-instrumentalist Jesse Blum, and saxophonist Mike Murphy. MisterWives have opened for acts such as Panic! at the Disco, Twenty One Pilots, Half Moon Run, Bleachers, The Mowgli's, Walk the Moon, Foster the People, Paramore, American Authors, and X Ambassadors. The band is currently signed to Photo Finish Records. The band's debut album Our Own House was released in January 2015.Philippine Hot 100
The Philippine Hot 100 was the music industry standard record chart in the Philippines for singles and published weekly by Billboard Philippines. The charts combine overall rankings of both top-performing local and international songs. They are compiled by Nielsen Music through ranking songs based on online streaming from Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube and digital downloads from iTunes.The first number-one song of this chart was "Shape of You" by Ed Sheeran. The first chart was issued on June 12, 2017, coinciding with the Independence Day. The short-lived chart was last updated on January 15, 2018.
Moira dela Torre's "Titibo-tibo" is currently the highest OPM song entry in the chart. It has peaked at number 1 spot.PlayStation Music
PlayStation Music is an on-demand streaming music service powered by Spotify. Providing free and premium access to over 30 million tracks, it is available in 41 markets via the PlayStation Network on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xperia tablet and mobile devices. The service replaces their former music streaming service, Music Unlimited.Rita Ora
Rita Sahatçiu Ora (born Rita Sahatçiu; 26 November 1990) is an English singer, songwriter and actress. She rose to prominence in February 2012 when she featured on DJ Fresh's single "Hot Right Now", which reached number one in the UK. Her debut studio album, Ora, released in August 2012, debuted at number one in the United Kingdom. The album contained the UK number-one singles "R.I.P." and "How We Do (Party)". Ora was the artist with the most number-one singles on the UK Singles Chart in 2012, with three consecutive singles reaching the top position.Ora’s second studio album, Phoenix, was released in November 2018. The lead single, "Your Song", reached the UK top ten, and the subsequent singles, "Anywhere" and "Let You Love Me", reached the top five in the UK; the latter single made Ora the first British female solo artist to have thirteen top ten songs in the United Kingdom.Sean Parker
Sean Parker (born December 3, 1979) is an American entrepreneur and philanthropist, most notable for co-founding the file-sharing computer service Napster, and serving as the first president of the social networking website Facebook. He also co-founded Plaxo, Causes, Airtime.com, and Brigade, an online platform for civic engagement. He is the founder and chairman of the Parker Foundation, which focuses on life sciences, global public health, and civic engagement. On the Forbes 2016 list of the world's billionaires, he was ranked #722 with a net worth of US$2.4 billion.Sigrid (singer)
Sigrid Solbakk Raabe (born 5 September 1996) is a Norwegian singer and songwriter. In 2017, Sigrid rose to fame with the release of her debut EP Don't Kill My Vibe, and she later won the BBC Music Sound of 2018. Her single "Strangers" reached number 10 on the UK Singles Chart. On 8 March 2019, Sigrid released her debut studio album, Sucker Punch, which debuted at number 1 on Norwegian charts and at number 4 on English, Irish, and Scottish charts.Vulfpeck
Vulfpeck is an American funk group founded in 2011. The band has released four EPs, four albums, and a silent album on Spotify titled Sleepify – royalties from which funded the band's admission-free tour in 2014. The band's most recent album, Hill Climber, was released in December 2018.
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