Spotify (/ˈspɒtɪfaɪ/; Swedish: [ˈspɔ̂tːɪfaj]) is a Swedish music streaming and media services provider that was founded in 2006. It is operated by Spotify AB, which has been publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange since 2018 through Luxembourg-domiciled holding company Spotify Technology S.A., itself a constituent of the Russell 1000 Index. Spotify's main headquarters is in Stockholm, Sweden, and its corporate headquarters is in New York City, USA.
The company mainly provides an audio streaming platform, also called "Spotify", that was launched in October 2008. It offers DRM-restricted recorded music and podcasts, including more than 60 million songs, 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 offline listening and commercial-free listening, are offered via paid subscriptions. 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, and Android smartphones and tablets. As of July 2020, the company had 299 million monthly active users, including 138 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 artist streams as a proportion of total songs streamed. It distributes approximately 70% of its 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 compensate musicians fairly. 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 subscribers if the albums are part of Universal Music Group or the Merlin Network.
Daniel Ek addressing Spotify staff in 2010
Spotify was founded in 2006 in Stockholm, Sweden, by Daniel Ek, former CTO of Stardoll, and Martin Lorentzon, co-founder of Tradedoubler. According to Ek, the company's title was initially misheard from a name shouted by Lorentzon. Later they thought out an etymology of a combination of "spot" and "identify."
Launch in 2008
Spotify's original logo (2008–2012)
The Spotify app was launched on 7 October 2008. While free accounts remained available by invitation, the launch opened paid subscriptions to everyone. At the same time, Spotify AB announced licensing deals with major music labels.
Early international launches
Former Spotify headquarters in Stockholm
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.
Spotify launched in the United States in July 2011 and offered a six-month ad-supported trial period, where new users could listen to an unlimited amount of music for free. In January 2012, the free trial periods began to expire, and limited users to ten hours of streaming each month and five plays per song. 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 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.
In late 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. 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 United States operations in Lower Manhattan, New York City, at 4 World Trade Center, 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.
On 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 31.85 million 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 19 June 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 five million paying customers globally and one million paying customers in the United States, in December 2012. By March 2013, the service had 24 million active users, six million being paying subscribers, which grew to 40 million users (including ten 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 paying subscribers in September 2016, and 100 million total users in June 2016. In April 2020, Spotify reached 133 million premium users. In countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Spotify registered a fall in users in late February, but it has seen a recovery.
Initial public offering
According to TechCrunch, Spotify was planning to become public on the stock market in 2017, but instead used an initial public offering (IPO) in 2018 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 would not issue new shares, but the company's existing shareholders would 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 would 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.
After making its debut on the New York Stock Exchange on 3 April 2018, CNBC reported that Spotify opened at $165.90, more than 25% above its reference price of $132.
In March 2014, Spotify acquired The Echo Nest, a music intelligence company.
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 would 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 mainly uses MightyTV to improve its advertising efforts on the free tier of service.
In April 2017, Spotify acquired Mediachain, a blockchain startup that had been developing a decentralized database system for managing attribution and other metadata for media.
In May 2017, Spotify acquired artificial intelligence startup Niland and uses its technology to improve its personalisation and recommendation features for users.
In November 2017, Spotify acquired Soundtrap, an online music studio startup.
in August 2018, Spotify signed a deal with Joe Budden to bring his podcast The Joe Budden Podcast exclusively to its platform, Budden also agreed to expand the show to a semi-weekly schedule, with new episodes every Wednesday and Saturday.
On 12 April 2018, Spotify acquired the music licensing platform Loudr.
On 6 February 2019, Spotify acquired the podcast networks Gimlet Media and Anchor FM Inc., establishing itself as a major player in podcasting.
On 26 March 2019, Spotify announced it would acquire another podcast network, Parcast.
On 12 September 2019, Spotify acquired SoundBetter, a music production marketplace for people in the music industry to collaborate on projects, and distribute music tracks for licensing.
On 19 November 2019, Spotify announced that it has inked a deal to bring The Last Podcast on the Left exclusively to its platform.
On 5 February 2020, Spotify announced its intent to acquire Bill Simmons' sports and pop culture blog and podcast network The Ringer for an undisclosed amount.
On May 19, 2020, Joe Rogan announced that he had signed a multi-year licensing deal with Spotify, worth an estimated $100 million, making it one of the largest licensing agreements in the podcast business. The deal will make The Joe Rogan Experience available on Spotify starting from September 1, 2020 and from January 2021, exclusive on the platform. Clips from the video version will continue to be available on YouTube. Following the announcement, Spotify shares increased 7% by 20 May. On the day episodes became available on Spotify, people remarked that shows with Tommy Chong, Joe List, Alex Jones, Nick Kroll, and others, were missing. The first new episode released on Spotify was No. 1,530 on August 31 with comedian Duncan Trussell, which lasted for over five hours.
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 an 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 brought 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 would premiere with a two-week exclusivity period on the service on 21 March 2017. The podcasts are available for all Spotify Free and Premium users. The Waze partnership allows Android app users to view directions to destinations within the Spotify app and access their Spotify playlists through the Waze app.
In October 2017, Microsoft announced that it would be ending its Groove Music streaming service by December, with all music from users transferring to Spotify as part of a new partnership.
In November 2017, it was announced that Pat McGrath Labs cosmetics would be sold through Spotify via Merchbar on singer Maggie Lindemann's artist page.
In December 2017, Spotify and Tencent's music arm, Tencent Music Entertainment (TME), agreed to swap stakes and make an investment in each other's music businesses, allying with 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 integrated with the gaming-oriented voice chat service Discord on desktop clients, allowing users to display their currently-playing song as a rich presence on their profile, and invite other users with Spotify Premium to group "listening parties".
In April 2018, Spotify announced a discounted entertainment bundle with video-on-demand provider Hulu, which included discounted rates for university students.
On 1 May 2020. Spotify Teamed up with ESPN and Netflix to curate podcasts around Netflix's Michael Jordan documentary.
Dispute with Apple
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".
In the following months, Spotify joined several other companies in filing a letter with the European Union's antitrust body indirectly 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 would prepare an initiative by the end of 2017 for a possible law addressing unfair competition practices.
Spotify released the first version of its Apple Watch app in November 2018, allowing playback control of the iPhone via the watch. Users can also choose which devices to play music on via Bluetooth. In a further escalation of the spat with Apple, on 13 March 2019, Spotify filed an antitrust complaint with the European Commission over unfair app store practices. Two days later Apple responded stating that the claim was misleading rhetoric and that Spotify wanted benefits of a free app without being a free app. Spotify responded with a statement calling Apple a monopolist and stated that they had only filed the complaint as Apple's actions hurt competition and consumers, and was in clear violation of the law. It also said that Apple believed Spotify users on the app store were Apple's customers and not Spotify's.
Apple responded to Spotify's claims by counter-claiming that without the Apple App Store platform, Spotify's market reach and user base would not have been possible. Additionally, Apple stated that they have attempted to work with Spotify to integrate the service better with Apple's products, such as Siri and Apple Watch. In 2019, under iOS 13, it became possible to play Spotify music using Siri commands.
Organizational development strategy
An article was written in the scholarly journal IEEE Software in February 2019 outlining 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 startups 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.
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 it considers factors such as the user's home country and the individual artist's royalty rate. Rightsholders 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) limitation diverges from the OMM and competitors such as iTunes Store and Amazon Music that have dropped DRM.
BBCMusic 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."
Accounts and subscriptions
As of November 2018, the two Spotify subscription types, all offering unlimited listening time, are:
|Type ||Remove ads ||Mobile listening ||Sound quality ||Listen offline ||Spotify Connect |
|Spotify Free ||No ||Limited|
|Up to 160 kbit/s ||No ||Limited|
(Spotify Connect speaker with new SDK)
|Spotify Premium ||Yes ||Yes ||Up to 320 kbit/s ||Yes ||Yes |
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 was 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 software development kit (SDK).
In 2007, just after launch, the company made a loss of 31.8 million Swedish kronor ($4.4 million).
In October 2010, Wired reported that Spotify was making more money for labels in Sweden than any other retailer "online or off".
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 can 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[update], Spotify was not yet a profitable company.
Spotify's revenue for Q1 2020 amounted to €1.85 billion ($2 billion). A large part of this sum, €1.7 billion ($1.84 billion), came from Spotify Premium subscribers. Gross profit in the same quarter amounted to €472 million ($511 million), with an operating loss of €17 million ($18 million). Despite subscriber and podcasts growth, during Q2 of 2020, Spotify reported a loss of €356 million (€1.91 per share). The "deeper" loss came as a result of the company's tax debt to over one-third of its employees in Sweden.
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.
A Goldman Sachs-led round of funding closed in November 2012, raising around $100 million at a $3 billion valuation.
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.
- Branded Moments allow brands to "tell their story over a series of sequential displays with 100% share-of-voice during the 30-minute session" by using "an immersive vertical video" and can unlock 30 minutes of uninterrupted music.
- Sponsored Playlist is an "exclusive one week sponsorship of Spotify’s top owned & operated playlists".
- Sponsored Sessions allow brands to "offer their audience uninterrupted listening in exchange for a video view". They are only available on mobile and tablet devices and are limited to select markets.
- Video Takeover is a "video spot with a companion display unit", is "served during commercial ad breaks between songs in a music session", and is only available on the computer apps.
- Audio Ads are "served during commercial ad breaks between songs in a music session" with a maximum duration of 30 seconds and play every 15 minutes.
- Display Ads are "clickable images displayed for 30 seconds". Display ads are shown at the bottom of the Spotify client.
- Overlay is "Spotify's 'welcome back' ad. It greets returning users on mobile and desktop with a can't-be-missed, large display ad to maximize brand impact and performance".
- Homepage Takeovers are "a combination of background skin and optional interactive area that takes over the Spotify homepage".
- Branded Playlists are "Spotify playlists that contain a branded cover art image and text". They can only have one song per artist, and must have a minimum of 20 tracks in the playlist.
- Advertiser Pages are a "microsite seamlessly integrated into the Spotify player", that can "contain practically any content you'd find on a webpage, including videos, clickable images, blogs, news, links, and comments."
In March 2009, Spotify began offering music downloads in the United Kingdom, France, and Spain. Users could purchase tracks from Spotify, which partnered with 7digital to incorporate the feature. The ability to purchase and download music tracks via the app was removed on 4 January 2013.
Spotify for Artists
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 opened 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, 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 to the platform instead of going through a distributor or record label. The feature was rolled out to a small number of US-based artists by invitation only. Uploading was free and artists received 100% of the revenue from songs they uploaded; artists were able to control when their release went public. On 1 July 2019, Spotify deprecated the program and announced plans to stop accepting direct uploads by the end of that month, and eventually remove all content uploaded in this manner.
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 project, which would 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 would take place in late 2017,[needs update] and was 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 would each host a Songshop workshop, in which their peers would collaboratively attempt to create a hit song, with the first workshop taking place in Los Angeles in June 2017.
In October 2017, Spotify launched "Rise", a program aimed at promoting emerging artists. In February 2020, Spotify announced it would be featuring new songwriter pages and 'written by' playlists. This was aimed at giving fans a behind the scenes look at the process of some of their favorite songwirters. Initial pages added included Justin Trantor, Meghan Trainor, and Missy Elliott. Spotify thereafter announced it was planning to add more of these pages and playlists to highlight songwriters.
Stations by Spotify
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 help users to listen to the music they want without information overload or spending time building their own playlists. At launch, the skipping feature was 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 of these songs, a "My Favourites" channel is unlocked. Users who do not subscribe to Spotify Premium hear location-targeted adverts.
|Initial release||7 October 2008 (2008-10-07)|
|Android||126.96.36.1996 / June 23, 2020; 2 months ago (2020-06-23)|
|Android Wear||188.8.131.526 / February 26, 2020; 6 months ago (2020-02-26)|
|iOS||8.5.65 / July 3, 2020; 2 months ago (2020-07-03)|
|Windows 10 (Microsoft Store)||1.142.622.0 / September 17, 2020; 0 days ago (2020-09-17)|
|macOS||184.108.40.2068 / June 25, 2020; 2 months ago (2020-06-25)|
|Linux||220.127.116.111 / February 19, 2020; 6 months ago (2020-02-19)|
|Android||18.104.22.1689 / October 29, 2019; 10 months ago (2019-10-29)|
|iOS||22.214.171.1245 / October 29, 2019; 10 months ago (2019-10-29)|
|Written in||Primarily Python, with some Java, C, and C++ components|
|Operating system||Android, iOS, Windows, macOS and Linux|
- Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Canadian French, Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Slovak, Spanish (Castilian and Latin American), Swedish, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese
Spotify has client software available for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS smartphones and tablets. Spotify also offers an official, although unsupported (developed as a "labour of love" by Spotify engineers; support is offered through the Spotify Community), version of Spotify for Linux clients. Spotify also offers 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 has a web player, for those who are unable to – or do not want to – download any app. Unlike 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.
Spotify Desktop Client running on Arch Linux
In 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 60 million songs, 450,000 podcasts and 3 billion playlists.
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 tracks to a "Collection" section of the app, rather than adding them 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 the mobile client), and announced that podcasts and videos ("entertainment, news and clips") would be coming to Spotify, along with "Spotify Originals" content.
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 selected playlists and was only available on Spotify's iOS app at launch, being expanded to the Android app in April 2017. This feature is currently known as "Behind the Lyrics".
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-style 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 same content.