Spotify is the undisputed market leader in music streaming. The Spotify subscription offers more than just music. Audiobooks, podcasts and videos can also be streamed in almost 80 countries. The Spotify offer gives users the choice between a free version, which is ad-financed, or Spotify Premium for extended features. Of the 248 million active users, 113 million are paying subscribers. Particularly popular among users are the individual playlists, annual reviews and the possibility to save songs in offline mode.
- Company name: Spotify AB
- Industry: Streaming/Music
- Formation: 2006
- Location: Stockholm, Sweden
- Founders: Daniel Ek & Martin Lorentzon
- Subscription-based model since: 2006
In principle, you can use the Spotify offer free of charge, in return for limited functions and advertisement. You have the choice of using Spotify online in the web browser or in the app, and the service is available on most devices. The subscription to Spotify Premium offers extended features: no ads and all songs can be downloaded for offline listening.
Spotify always creates individualised playlists for its users, with the most listened-to songs, annual reviews, but also playlists to discover new songs. This is what the service stands for with its name, which is a combination of the English words “to spot” and “to identify”.
A popular feature is the “Daily Drive” playlist – consisting of short news podcasts and music. Regional news providers support the news content, while the playlist is supplemented with Spotify songs adapted to the user’s taste. With this offer, the streaming service wants to provide a personalised alternative to the radio for the way to university or work.
Streaming services in comparison
Even though Spotify is the market leader in music streaming services, there are alternative providers that offer music streaming. The providers differ primarily in terms of usability and additional functions. The selection of titles is very similar for all providers.
Particularly worthy of mention are the providers Apple Music, Google Play, Deezer and Napster. Apple Music in particular is a major competitor for Spotify due to its strong international distribution and acceptance. Apple Music does not offer a free version, but only a paid subscription. Since November 2019, Amazon Music has been offering its music streaming service free of charge. The ad-supported service is seen by many as an alternative to Spotify. Similar to the Spotify subscription, Amazon also offers various premium models.
The future of music streaming service
Among the consumers, Spotify keeps being a popular demand. In March 2011 Spotify reported having 1 million European paying subscribers. A month later the number had doubled, and the user number just keeps growing. At the end of Q2 in 2022, Spotify had 433 million users worldwide, where 188 million were paying subscribers.
In order for the company to be profitable at all, these royalties have to be very low – a point that is sharply criticized by many artists and labels. Another future option is the democratization of the music industry. According to this, artists could be given more room to maneuver by Spotify & Co. in the future. At the expense of the music labels, which have to find new business models to secure their existence.