Music…it makes the world go round. I didn’t come up with that, credit goes to the Hamilton Brothers.
They aren’t wrong. Think about it, when are you not listening to music? For me, it’s pretty rare. When I want to be productive? Music. Gym? Music. Heartbreak? Music. Driving? Music.
Spotify was created in 2006 in Stockholm, Sweden and made its debut in October of 2008 as an invite-only service. I was in high school during this time and remember discovering it while I was planning a road trip – impeccable timing, right? Spotify has then updated its design, making it look more smooth and polished while maintaining a user-friendly platform.
Student Discounts + Hulu & SHOWTIME
I initially had the free Spotify service, because, well it was free – this service comes with ads and limited streaming. However, in college, I discovered that Spotify Premium offers a sweet student discount – this service allows unlimited music and you to listen to music offline – perfect for when I go on my evening runs or when I’m 30,000 feet in the air. It also gives you Hulu’s ad-supported plan and SHOWTIME. Naturally, I subscribed to the premium service in 2012 and haven’t looked back since.
Exposure for Up-and-Coming Artists
Not only has Spotify has also changed the music industry, but it has also given artists a platform to share their art – music, podcasts, short stories, poetry, meditation…you’ll find that and more under their “Browse” section. Spotify consistently highlights smaller artists by adding them to their employee-made playlists that make the front page of the platform – aka made by Playlist Professionals (MY DREAM JOB), giving them an opportunity to be listened to.
Genius Use of Data for Marketing
As a person who loves learning about tech and the behind-the-scenes action, I really appreciate the marketing team at Spotify. In 2016, they took user-data and used it to fun-lovingly highlight what users were listening to for their Global Outdoor Campaign. They posted ads on billboards with headlines such as: “Dear person who played “Sorry” 42 times on Valentine’s Day, what did you do?” Last year was a bit different in that they took “2018 Goals” to display their data. “Be as loving as the person who put 48 Ed Sheeran songs on their “I Love Gingers” playlist...” also adding that “Shape of You” is the most-streamed song ever on their platform.
They also use smart data to tell you about your listening habits in “Your [insert year here] Wrapped.” In 2018, I listened to a lot of Drake and Leon Bridges – not surprised. There were a total of 100 songs in my Top Songs for 2018. I listen to this playlist when I want to be hit with nostalgic bliss.
Making Room for Efficiency & Improvement
Spotify isn’t a stranger to criticism, however, as people have brought up the argument that artists don’t make much for their work as Spotify makes deals with record labels. Taylor Swift actually pulled all her music from the platform back in 2014. Yes, I was devastated, but she has since had a change of heart and I’m able to jam out to Lover. This all might have to do with the fact that Spotify increased its payout to $0.00437 per play from its previous $0.0038 per play.
Of course, any platform can always be improved. For example, I’d like to see what my friends are listening to on the app on my phone, not just my desktop. This can create a unique experience for listeners: a newsfeed of music that can allow users to see what their friends are playing…perhaps the ability to stream live shows as well? Just an idea. Nonetheless, I’m thoroughly impressed at how Spotify took over the digital music industry by a storm in such a short period of time. It’s no wonder Spotify is the #1 music streaming service with over 170 million users using the platform for music and audio content.
What digital service do you use to stream your audio?