Spotify: The future of audio. Putting data to work, one listener at a time.

About Spotify

A Google Cloud customer since 2016, Spotify is the most popular global audio streaming subscription service with 248m users, including 113m subscribers, across 79 markets. Spotify is the largest driver of revenue to the music business today.

Industries: Media & Entertainment
Location: Global

Spotify exemplifies the new era of scaling a business. It launched a music-streaming service in late 2008, surpassed 1 million customers in early 2011, and today offers 248 million monthly active users in 79 markets access to more than 50 million songs and podcasts.

That’s technology-driven hypergrowth by anyone’s standard. Equally striking, though, is the way Spotify has continued to innovate its offering, while adhering to the enduring principles for growing and sustaining a successful business: Pay attention to the customer. Find new ways to delight them. Use your comparative advantage, doubling down on the things you are best at, and find good partners to handle other work. Focus on scaling your culture even as you scale your technology.

Those old truths may be even more urgent in the digital age. Streaming audio is a competitive business, requiring fast product development, customer understanding, and powerful tools for things like recommendation, music discovery, and connecting people. Besides helping people find new music and podcasts, Spotify helps artists connect with fans and collaborate with each other.

Google Cloud is proud to support Spotify’s increasing diversification and success. In 2016 we worked together to move 1200 online services and data processing DAGs (directed acyclic graphs) as well as 20,000 daily job executions, affecting more than 100 Spotify teams, from Spotify’s data centers to the cloud. Today, Spotify’s customers listen to billions of daily plays of music and podcasts leveraging Google Cloud’s global network.

By employing automated, developer-friendly services on Google Cloud, Spotify’s teams could focus better on its core business, while gaining access to services, like data analytics, on which it could grow.

“Google Cloud removes a lot of the operational complexity from our ecosystem. That frees up time,” said Tyson Singer, vice president of technology and platform at Spotify. “We can iterate quicker on key needs, like data insights and machine learning. Having infrastructure managed for us, with the lower-value details taken away, streamlines our ability to concentrate on what’s important to our users and give them the experiences they know and love about Spotify.”

Spotify, not surprisingly, has a very engineering-driven culture, with almost half of its staff focused on building, launching, and maintaining its products. With major research and development offices in Boston, Gothenburg, London, New York, and Stockholm, the size of its workforce matches the global scale of its business. That requires a culture of collaboration and swift execution. In the fourth quarter of 2019, Spotify reported 271 million monthly users and 124 million Premium subscribers, a record, continuing its history of global growth.

Effective data use that preserves customer privacy even as the services scale is another core part of the process. Some of that increase is from a growing user base, but even more is from effective understanding of the customer experience on Spotify. The engineering brilliance that matches data-driven insights with improved customer experiences is increasingly easier and faster on the cloud.

Robust building blocks that exist on top of core data storage, computing, and network services help take away much of the backend hassle on the way to new product creation. Spotify’s technology leaders point to the particular importance of BigQuery, the Google Cloud data analysis tool, as well as Pub/Sub, for faster software application development. Dataflow, for real-time and historical data analysis, has also been particularly useful.

Much of that data goes towards solving the tricky issue of personalization in new ways. Data privacy is at the core of Spotify’s development activities as it seeks to offer music lovers new ways to find the sounds they love and connect with artists. Podcasting, a recent groundbreaking effort, relies even more on robust discovery to discern things like topics, creators, and user interest levels.

For artists, the ability to find and connect with fans, or work on new material with other musicians, is another dimension of data-driven discovery. Artists on Spotify have access to dashboards that let them gain knowledge about their fans and other artists, which helps them make better-informed decisions about everything from where to plan their upcoming tour to when to drop their next release.

Ultimately, it is great user experiences that powers a business. In the past year alone, the number of Spotify’s premium subscribers has grown by 29 percent. The company credits growth in new markets, as well as innovative new products, for the increase.

Underlying Spotify's growth is its commitment to experimentation and innovation. Being able to go faster and to more efficiently test a wide spectrum of new features and ideas means Spotify will be able to focus its DNA of creativity and excellence on even more innovative experiences for its happy listeners.

About Spotify

A Google Cloud customer since 2016, Spotify is the most popular global audio streaming subscription service with 248m users, including 113m subscribers, across 79 markets. Spotify is the largest driver of revenue to the music business today.

Industries: Media & Entertainment
Location: Global