Spotify

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Spotify Ltd
Spotify logo
Type Privately held company
Founded 2006
Headquarters London, England and Stockholm, Sweden
country of origin Sweden
Founder(s) Daniel Ek, Martin Lorentzon
Industry Music
Employees 1,200+[1]
Website spotify.com
Alexa rank Positive1,023 (2014)[2]
Registration Required
Available in Multilingual
Current status Active
Spotify
Spotify logo
Developer(s) Spotify Ltd
Initial release 2008; 6 years ago (2008)
Stable release
Microsoft Windows & Mac OS X

0.9.7.16[3] (January 14, 2014; 3 months ago (2014-01-14)) [±]

iOS
1.0.0 (April 2, 2014; 19 days ago (2014-04-02)) [±]
Preview release 0.9.4.183 (Linux) (November 1, 2013; 5 months ago (2013-11-01) (approx.)) [±]
Development status Active
Written in C++ (With some third-party libraries)
Operating system Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, 8.1, Windows Phone, Linux, BlackBerry OS, Android, iOS, Chrome OS and OS X
Available in Over 50 languages
Type Music platform
License Proprietary
Website spotify.com

Spotify is a commercial music streaming service providing digital rights management-restricted[4] content from record labels including Sony, EMI, Warner Music Group and Universal.[5][6] Launched in October 2008 by Swedish startup Spotify AB, the service had approximately 10 million users as of 15 September 2010,[7] about 2.5 million of whom were paying users.[8][9] Total users reached 20 million by December 2012, 5 million of whom pay a monthly subscription fee that varies based on locale.[10][11]

As of December 2013, the system is available for Android, BlackBerry, Boxee, iOS, Linux, MeeGo, Microsoft Windows desktop, Openpandora, OS X, Roku, S60 (Symbian), Samsung Smart TV, Sonos, Squeezebox, Telia Digital-tv, TiVo, WD TV, webOS, Windows Mobile, and Windows Phone.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18] As of December 2013 Spotify is not available as a Windows Store app for Windows 8, although there is a third-party client available called Spotlite.[19]

Music can be browsed by artist, album, genre, playlist, or record label, as well as by direct searches. On computers, a link allows the listener to purchase selected material via partner retailers.[20]

As of December 2013, free Spotify music streaming is now available on all Android and iOS devices[21] and on desktop computers for unlimited durations.[22] Features like offline listening and ad-free playback are only available for Premium subscribers of the service.[citation needed]

History[edit]

Daniel Ek addressing Spotify staff

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. Spotify Ltd. now operates as the parent company in London.[23] Spotify AB handles research and development in Stockholm.[citation needed]

Launch[edit]

Spotify's original logo (2008–2012)

The Spotify application was launched for public access 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 many major music labels.[24] The company reported a US$4.4 million loss for 2008.[25][clarification needed]

The first steps towards offering free accounts to the public without invitations were taken on 10 February 2009, when Spotify opened free registration in the United Kingdom.[26] Registrations surged following the release of the Spotify mobile service, leading Spotify to stop open registrations in the UK for part of 2009, returning to an invitation-only policy.[27]

Evolution[edit]

Former Spotify headquarters

On 4 March 2009, Spotify announced a security flaw in the service, by which private account information (including email addresses and hashed salted passwords) of members registered prior to 19 December 2008 were potentially exposed.[28][29][30][31]

On 28 January 2010, Symantec's antivirus software marked Spotify as a Trojan horse, disabling the software across millions of computers.[32][33]

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".[34]

On 18 May 2010, Spotify announced that two more types of accounts were available: Spotify Unlimited, an equivalent to Spotify Premium without mobile and other features, and Spotify Open, a reduced-feature version of Spotify Free, which allows users to listen to up to 20 hours of music per month.[35]

On 1 September 2010, the World Economic Forum announced the company as a Technology Pioneer for 2011.[36]

During 2010, Spotify paid more than €45 million to its licensors.[37] In March 2011, Spotify announced that it had one million paying subscribers across Europe,[9] and by September the number of paying subscribers had doubled to two million.[38] On 25 March 2011, Spotify temporarily removed display advertising from external sources on its open and free accounts, due to an attack which used an exploit in Java to place malicious code on victims' computers.[39]

Before their free mobile and unlimited offer, in most locations, a six-month free trial period was activated upon account registration or first login with a Facebook account,[40] allowing the user to listen to an unlimited amount of music supported by visual and radio-style advertising.[41] After the trial, Spotify had a listening limit of 10 hours per month, divided into 2.5-hour weekly portions (unused hours carry over).[42] The only locations exempt from this rule are Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States. Australia, where ad-supported unlimited streaming continues on Spotify Free.[43][44] An "Unlimited" subscription removes advertisements and time limits, and a "Premium" subscription introduces extra features such as higher bitrate streaming, offline access to music, and mobile app access.[45] Users can try Spotify Premium for 48 hours by logging into Spotify Mobile for the first time, or getting a 30-day trial for their first month.[46] An active Facebook account is required to use Spotify if the user has signed up using Facebook, but as of 30 August 2012, the option to create a Spotify username was again offered.[47] Subscriptions are restricted to people with credit/debit cards or PayPal accounts registered in certain countries.[48][49] Alternatively, prepaid cards can be bought in retail stores in select countries to pay for subscriptions. [50]

Monetization[edit]

On 15 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 Spotify Open and Spotify Free members would be transferred to a new product which limited audio streaming to ten hours per month. In addition, a user could only listen to a single track a maximum of five times. Spotify Unlimited and Spotify Premium members were not affected by this change. New users were exempt from these changes for six months.[51]

On 17 June 2011, it was reported that Spotify had secured another $100 million of funding and planned to use this to support its US launch.[52] The new round of funding valued the company at US$1 billion.

US launch[edit]

On 14 July 2011, Spotify launched its US service, a major milestone after delays and years of negotiation with the four major record companies.[53] On 30 November 2011, Spotify launched Spotify Apps and App Finder to "bring new and exciting music experiences built around your music tastes." App launch partners included Rolling Stone, We Are Hunted, Top10, Songkick, The Guardian, Soundrop and Last.fm.[54]

2012 onward[edit]

On 29 March 2012, Spotify removed a restriction that limited non-US free users to five plays of every song; however, the restriction remained in effect in the UK and France. The ten-hour-per-month limit remained in place for all free accounts older than six months;[55] however, the company also announced "continued unlimited free listening" for users in the US.[56] On 19 March 2013, Spotify removed the restriction that limited free users in the UK to five plays per song.[57]

In August 2012, Time reported that four million people were paid subscribers to Spotify,[58] resulting in at least 20 million per month in revenue.

A further round of funding was closed in November 2012, with about US$100 million raised at a $3 billion valuation from a group of investors led by Goldman Sachs.[59]

On 16 April 2013, Spotify was launched and became available in the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and Windows Phone Store in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia,[60] Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico and Iceland.[61]

On its release in April 2013, the Daft Punk single, "Get Lucky", received the highest number of plays of any song in a single day.[62] The song appeared in a list of the ten most-played songs on Spotify, released in December 2013, and other artists such as Avicii, Robin Thicke, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were also featured. In its annual review, the streaming company revealed that 24 million active users streamed over 4.5 billion hours of music in 2013.[63][64]

Features[edit]

Catalogue[edit]

As of December 2012, the catalogue provided access to approximately 20 million songs[65] via searching for artists, albums, titles, labels and genres, and gave users access to tracks from many major and independent labels. Some artists opted not to be available on Spotify.[5][66] Additionally, some artists are missing in certain regions because of record label licensing restrictions. The Spotify desktop client allows music to be imported from iTunes,[67] with the option of syncing with a mobile device.[68] Users from the UK, France, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands can also buy most tracks, if available, from Spotify's download partner 7digital.[69]

Playlists[edit]

Users can create and share playlists,[70] or edit them together with other users (see collaborative software). For this purpose the playlist link can directly be dragged into an email or an instant messaging window. If the recipient follows the link, the playlist downloads into the recipient's Spotify-client. Downloaded playlists auto-update if the author adds or removes tracks. Like normal links, playlist links can be used everywhere. The same principle also works for single tracks, which can be dropped on applications and websites at will.[71] Many websites support sharing of Spotify playlists and songs and let users share, rate and discuss them.[72]

Last.fm integration[edit]

While Spotify does not automatically create preference-based playlists, it does integrate with Last.fm. This integration allows Spotify users to send songs from Spotify to their Last.fm account and "scrobble" them. Scrobbling via Last.fm integration allows Spotify users to learn which songs or artists they listen to the most. In turn, Spotify users can add a Spotify link to songs in their Last.fm library and send them to the Spotify client with the Lastify app.[73] Since November 2011 an official app called Last.fm for Spotify enables recommendations based on listening history, embedded artist wiki information while listening with Spotify and more. See the support group on Last.fm for a list of features.

Radio[edit]

Spotify also includes a Radio feature available to Spotify Free and Premium accounts, which creates a random playlist of songs chosen based on specified genres and decades. An Artist Radio feature creates a random playlist of songs by artists related to (and including) the selected artist.[74] Artist Radio channels on Spotify provide background information on the selected artist, ranging from its history to a list of the artist's most famous singles. The Spotify radio function demonstrates distinct differences from its competitor, Pandora.

Premium (paid) Spotify users are allowed to skip as many tracks as desired, while Pandora places limits on the number of tracks that can be skipped. Free Spotify users on mobile (Android/iPhone) are limited to five skips, similar to Pandora. In August 2012 Spotify allowed users to "rate" tracks, improving the ability to organise the radio function based on user preference.[75]

Social media integration[edit]

Spotify allows registered users to integrate their account with existing Facebook and Twitter accounts. Once a user integrates their Spotify account with other social media profiles, they are able to access their friends' favourite music and playlists.[76] Additionally, Facebook compatibility allows Spotify users to share music with Facebook friends through the use of the service's inbox. Spotify users are able to send tracks or playlists to friends who, in return, are able to access this music through their Spotify account.[77] When using Spotify through your Facebook account, music stories appear on Facebook feeds alerting your friends to the music and playlists you are currently listening to. These feeds feature a play button that automatically starts the song or album in Spotify.[78] On 26 September 2011, it was announced that all new accounts would require users to access via a Facebook login[79] but the sign-up restriction was later removed on 30 August 2012, giving users a choice to either log in with Facebook or create a Spotify username. Sean Parker, the former president of Facebook and a major investor in Spotify, commemorated the integration at a f8 party at which Snoop Dogg, the Killers and Jane's Addiction performed.[80]

Applications[edit]

Users can access applications integrated in the Spotify desktop client, written in HTML5. Third party software writers can offer features related to music listening such as live sharing of concerts, lyrics, music reviews, and playlists. At the time of launch (30 November 2011 in beta mode), the supported applications were Billboard, Fuse, The Guardian, Last.fm, Moodagent, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Songkick, Soundrop, Tunewiki, and We Are Hunted.

In June 2012, Soundrop became the first Spotify app to attract major funding with a $3 million Series A of funding from Spotify investor Northzone.[81]

Technical information[edit]

Spotify software is proprietary and uses digital rights management (DRM) to prevent unauthorised use. Users who agree to Spotify's Terms and conditions agree to not reverse engineer the application.[82]

The contents of each client's cache is summarised in an index that is sent to the Spotify stream hub upon connecting to the service. This index is then used to inform other clients about additional peers they can connect to for fetching streamed data for individual tracks being played. This is accommodated by each client, upon startup, acting as a server listening for incoming connections from other Spotify users, as well as connecting to other users to exchange cached data as appropriate. No official details are available about how many connections and how much of a user's upstream bandwidth the Spotify client will use when streaming; the Spotify client offers no way for the user to configure this.

Audio streams are in the Vorbis format at q5 (ca. 160 kbit/s),[83] or optional q9 (ca. 320 kbit/s)[84] for Premium subscribers. Spotify has a median playback latency of 265 ms. It amounts to 390 ms without local cache usage.[85]

As of version 0.4.3, it is possible to also play back local MP3 and AAC files, though this does not work in Linux using Wine because Spotify is "...blocking codecs with the identifier "WINE-MPEG3″ until the Wine system works satisfactorily."[86] However, the native Linux version supports local files.

Spotify is a strong Debian GNU/Linux user, as said on systemd vs Upstart vs sysvinit Debian debate. [87]

Cache size and location is configurable. 1 GB or more disk space is recommended.[88] On OS X, a G4 processor or higher is required. Users must set up an account to use the software. This account can be used on several computers, but music playback is limited to one computer at a time.

Spotify uses peer to peer transfers to supplement their available bandwidth. This has led to it being banned on large networks where users are not responsible for bandwidth costs.[89]

Revenue model[edit]

Spotify principally operates under a so-called 'Freemium' model: basic services are free, and more advanced or additional features are offered at a premium. This is augmented by income from music purchases within the player. As of 2013, Spotify offered a US$10 per month unlimited subscription package, close to the Open Music Model (OMM)—estimated economic equilibrium—for the recording industry. However, the incorporation of DRM diverges from the OMM, as well as from competitors such as iTunes and Amazon MP3 that have dropped DRM. In Denmark, for example, the cost is DKK49 (US$9.00) per month (as of 8 December 2013) for an unlimited subscription.[90]

In February 2009, the duration of advertisements for non-paying users was reported as 15 seconds;[91] although, in May 2009, Neowin reported that the approximate length had increased to 30 seconds.[92]

A monthly fee removes advertisements and streaming limits, and increases the bitrate to 320 kbit/s for some songs.[93] The fee also allows mobile usage for iOS, Android, Symbian, webOS, Windows Mobile 6.x, Windows Phone and most BlackBerry devices. Premium ecards (premium codes) were offered for the 2009 Christmas season that allowed recipients to upgrade an account to "Premium" status for 1, 3, 6 or 12 months.[94]

Spotify offers music downloads in the UK at £0.99 per track (initiailly only available in the UK, France and Spain), in partnership with the 7digital music store.[95] The feature was designed to provide the option to download high volumes of music from Spotify.[96]

In October 2010, Wired reported that Spotify is making more money for labels in Sweden than any other retailer, "online or off".[97] During 2010, Spotify paid more than €45 million to its licensors.[37]

In March 2011, Spotify announced a customer base of one million paying subscribers across Europe,[9] and by September, the number of paying subscribers had doubled to two million.[38] In August 2012 Time reported four million paying Spotify subscribers,[58] responsible for at least €20 million per month in revenue.[98]

A 2012 report stated that Spotify posted a net loss of US$59 million in 2011, attributed to increased staffing costs, and licensing fees and royalties to record companies.[99] However, in a report published in November 2012, Spotify was expected to reach revenues of US$500 million over the course of 2012, up from US$244 million in 2011.[100]

Spotify announced on 6 December 2012 that more than five million global customers were paying to use their service, including one million in the US. Spotify also announced the existence of over 20 million active users worldwide.[101]

By March 2013, Spotify had grown to six million paying customers globally (a figure that remained the same in December 2013) and 24 million total active users.[102] In December 2013, the company launched a new website entitled 'Spotify for Artists' that revealed its business model and revenue data. The website stated that Spotify paid its artists a per-stream figure of between US$0.006 and $0.0084 (an average of £0.004).[103] Music Week editor Tim Ingham's perspective was provided in a BBC article:

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.[103]

On Spotify for Artists, the company claims that "a Spotify Premium customer spends per year compared to the average spend of a US music consumer who buys music (not including those who spend $0 on music).", with the annual value of the average US paying listener identified as US$120. The website also claims: "a Spotify customer is 1.6x more financially valuable than the average adult non-Spotify US music consumer."[104]

Criticism[edit]

Spotify has been accused of failing to compensate artists fairly.[105] Helienne Lindvall of The Guardian reported that for "artists who 'signed up to a label' there's a tangible risk that revenue which comes from a possible sale of shares by the label would end up in the proverbial 'blackbox' (non-attributable revenue that remains with the label)." and that "indie labels... as opposed to the majors and Merlin members, receive no advance, receive no minimum per stream and only get a 50% share of ad revenue on a pro-rata basis."[106]

In 2009 Swedish musician Magnus Uggla wanted to pull his music from the service, stating that after six months he'd only earned "what a mediocre busker could earn in a day".[107] Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet reported in 2009, that record label Racing Junior had only earned NOK 19 ($3.00 USD) after their artists had been streamed over 55,100 times.[108] According to an infographic by David McCandless, an artist on Spotify would need over four million streams per month to earn US$1,160 (equivalent to working full-time at a minimum wage job).[109] Luke Lewis of NME points to problems with the Spotify business model, saying he was "convinced the 'free' aspect of Spotify is unsustainable" and that if "Spotify is to have a future, it needs to be a viable business".[110]

In September 2011, US independent label Projekt Records entered a public disagreement with Spotify, stating "In the world I want to live in, I envision artists fairly compensated for their creations, because we (the audience) believe in the value of what artists create. The artist's passion, dedication and expression is respected and rewarded. Spotify is NOT a service that does this. Projekt will not be part of this unprincipled concept."[111] In May 2012, British Theatre vocalist and Biffy Clyro touring guitarist Mike Vennart noted, "I'd sooner people stole my work than stream it from [Spotify]. They pay the artists virtually nothing. Literally pennies per month. Yet they make a killing. They've forced the sales way down in certain territories, which wouldn't be so bad if the bands actually got paid."[112]

In March 2012, Patrick Carney of the Black Keys said that "Spotify isn't fair to artists"[113] and that for "a band that makes a living selling music, streaming services are not a 'feasible' option."[114] He called Spotify board member Sean Parker an "asshole" in reply to his claim that Spotify would make more money for the music industry than iTunes. "That guy has $2 billion that he made from figuring out ways to steal royalties from artists, and that's the bottom line. You can't really trust anybody like that."[113]

Spotify's artist-in-residence responded to the criticism by stating that 70% of Spotify's revenue is paid out in royalties, and that the per-stream royalty rate doubled between the service's inception and mid-2012.[115] Charles Caldas, CEO of the Merlin Network for independent artists, argues that the problem isn't Spotify's failure to pay out significant royalties, but that it's paid to the record labels, who then pass too little of it on to their artists.[115]

In July 2013, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke pulled all his solo music and that of his band Atoms for Peace from Spotify.[116] In a series of tweets, Yorke stated, "Make no mistake, new artists you discover on Spotify will not get paid. Meanwhile shareholders will shortly be rolling in it. Simples." He went on to say, "New artists get paid fuck all with this model". Producer Nigel Godrich also addressed the concern by stating: "[Streaming] cannot work as a way of supporting new artists' work. Spotify and the like either have to address that fact and change the model for new releases or else all new music producers should be bold and vote with their feet." Responding in a statement, Spotify argued that, "Right now we're still in the early stages of a long-term project that's already having a hugely positive effect on artists and new music" and that they "are constantly talking to artists and managers about how Spotify can help build their careers".[117]

In September 2013, Ministry of Sound sued Spotify, alleging that user playlists that mimicked the track listings of their compilation albums were infringing on copyrights for the albums themselves.[118] Yorke renewed his sentiments regarding Spotify in early October 2013 during an interview with Mexican website Sopitas:

I feel like as musicians we need to fight the Spotify thing. I feel that in some ways what's happening in the mainstream is the last gasp of the old industry. Once that does finally die, which it will, something else will happen.[119]

David Byrne, formerly of the band Talking Heads, published his opinion on streaming services such as Spotify in the Guardian newspaper on 11 October 2013. Byrne stated that "if artists have to rely almost exclusively on the income from these services, they'll be out of work within a year" and countered the supposed ability to discover new music through services such as Spotify by arguing that the vital issue of sustainability is not addressed. However, Byrne concluded his piece by admitting: "I don't have an answer."[120]

In the Spotify For Artists website launched in December 2013, the streaming service includes a section entitled "Spotify's impact on piracy" as a response to the criticisms against the company regarding the exploitation of musicians. Spotify states that it has proven the theory 'given a free and legal alternative, people will pirate less', and uses Sweden, Norway, Denmark, USA, Netherlands and the UK to provide evidence. For example, in Norway, the figure of 1.2 billion pirated songs in 2008 is compared to a figure of 210 million from 2012.[104]

Clients[edit]

Desktop[edit]

Clients are available for Microsoft Windows (XP, Vista and 7) and OS X (10.5 or newer). Spotify withdrew support for any Mac OS earlier than OS 10.5 in 2012.[121] Microsoft Windows 8 is not officially supported, and as of December 2013 Spotify has not released a native client for Windows 8 (or newer) in the Windows Store.

A native Linux version for Debian 6.0 "Squeeze" and Ubuntu 10.04 is available, limited to the amd64 and i386 architectures.[122] The Windows version can be run on Linux and FreeBSD using Wine. The Spotify website has a section devoted to this topic.[123]

Version 0.8.8 received poor feedback.[124] Some features, such as playlist filtering, were removed while sorting was broken. The interface changed from native C++ to web-based. 0.8.8 and newer versions offer slower performance and greater memory usage.[125] As of July 2013 most complaints had not been resolved.[124] Spotify offers no option to turn off automatic updates, however there are workarounds which allow to use pre-0.8.8 versions.[126][127][128]

In December 2013, Spotify released a Spotify Premium client called "Spotiamp", which uses an interface that resembles version 2 of the popular music player Winamp (AOL, the owners of Winamp, were planning to discontinue the player). The client also contains an equalizer and support for Advanced Visualization System.[129]

Mobile versions[edit]

Mobile apps for Android,[130] iOS,[131][132][133] Symbian,[134] BlackBerry OS,[135][136] Windows Phone 7/8,[137][138] Windows Mobile 6.0,[139] and WebOS[citation needed] are available. The Windows service is a competitor to the Xbox Music functionality integrated within Windows desktops, tablets and phones; both services offer wireless streaming and unlimited listening for a set monthly fee.

As of 20 June 2012, Spotify radio streaming was free on the iPad and iPhone in the US.[140]

The applications allow Premium subscribers to access the full music catalogue, stream music and listen to music when disconnected using Offline Mode. As of September 2013, "extreme quality" mobile streaming (~320kbit/s) is only available on the iOS and Android versions of the Spotify app.

As of December 2013, Spotify made its mobile app free for Android and iOS devices with ads enabled, not just premium subscribers.[141]

Web[edit]

A browser version of Spotify was released in beta in 2012.[142] The software uses Adobe Flash, presumably for its peer-to-peer networking ability. The application was released in March 2013.[143]

Third-party clients and libraries[edit]

Third-party (and open source) projects access Spotify services. The most prominent is Despotify, originally released as an ncurses text-mode client for Linux and OS X. All third-party applications and development libraries require a Spotify premium subscription.

  • Despotify[144]
  • Jotify: a Java client.
  • Last.fm for Spotify: official app by Last.fm enabling recommendations based on listening history, embedded artist wiki information while listening and more (does not require premium subscription).
  • Tomahawk: a cross-platform music player for Windows, Mac and Linux with integrated Spotify "resolver" (plugin).
  • mySpot was a freeware client that supports Windows Mobile via an intermediate proxy. It required a QVGA, VGA or WVGA device running Windows Mobile Professional (Pocket PC) 6.0 or higher.[citation needed] It was discontinued and the service disabled several months before the official client was launched by Spotify.[145]
  • Clementine: Spotify playback limited to Premium accounts. Clementine is a multiplatform (Windows, Mac, or Linux) music player. It is inspired by Amarok 1.4, focusing on a fast and easy-to-use interface for searching and playing your music.

Despotify[edit]

Despotify
Original author(s) #hack.se
Written in C
Operating system Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OS X, Windows
Type Client, Library
License 2-clause BSD license

Despotify is a free software open source client. It aims to provide tools to allow third parties to leverage Spotify's platform for new services. Its authors remain anonymous, but their website claims that they are a group of Swedish computer science researchers and security professionals who "believe strongly in the right to tinker with technology".

The software supports most mainstream POSIX-compliant operating systems for which there is an ANSI C compiler. It requires one of Core Audio, GStreamer, libao or PulseAudio. A Despotify-based client, Spot, supports jailbroken iPhones.[146]

Spotify has blocked usage of Despotify for "Free" and "Open" accounts, but those with a "Premium" account can use Despotify. The Despotify team claimed that they would not attempt to circumvent the block. The code may however be forked by others to attempt to do this.[147]

The Despotify library has language bindings for Python and Ruby. It depends on the OpenSSL, zlib and libvorbis libraries.

Geographic availability[edit]

Availability of Spotify in the world as of April 2014.

Spotify is available in Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Colombia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and Uruguay.[148] In Estonia, Greece and Romania, the Premium service was offered until July 2009, but never the free version. Only customers with credit cards or PayPal accounts in one of the above-mentioned countries can buy a Premium account.[149]

Spotify was launched in the US on 14 July 2011,[150] in Germany on 13 March 2012,[151] and in Australia and New Zealand on 22 May 2012.[152] From 13 November 2012, it became available in Republic of Ireland and Luxembourg. From 11 February 2013, Spotify became available in Italy, Poland and Portugal. Spotify was launched in Mexico, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Iceland on 15/16 April 2013.[153][154]

On 24 September 2013, Spotify was launched in Argentina, Greece, Taiwan, and Turkey.[155]

On 3 December 2013, Spotify launched in Colombia as a pre-launch promo from Coca-Cola.[156]

On 11 December 2013, Spotify launched in Costa Rica.[157]

On 12 December 2013, Spotify was supposed to launch in additional 20 markets, bringing the total number up to 55. The following countries will be added: Bolivia, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Malta, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Slovakia and Uruguay.[158]

On 25 March 2014, Spotify launched in the Philippines as a pre-launch promo from Coca-Cola.[159][160]

On 8 April 2014, Spotify was fully launched in the Philippines.[161]

Accounts and subscriptions[edit]

As of 2014, the three Spotify account types are:

Name Price Free of Ads Listening time Premium features
Spotify Free Free No Unlimited[162] No
Spotify Unlimited 4.99 USD, 6.99 AUD, 7.49 NZD, 4.99 GBP, 49 MXN, 18 ARS, 4.99 TRY, 49 NOK, 49 SEK, 49 DKK, 6.45 CHF, 9.99 PLN, 4.99 EUR (3.49 EUR in some countries: Baltic states, Greece, Portugal), per month.
  • No longer accepting new subscriptions for this account type
Yes Unlimited No
Spotify Premium 9.99 USD, 11.99 AUD, 12.99 NZD, 9.99 GBP, 9.9 SGD, 48 HKD, 149 NTD, 14.9 MYR, 99 MXN, 36 ARS, 9.99 TRY, 99 NOK, 99 SEK, 99 DKK, 12.95 CHF, 19.99 PLN, 9.99 EUR (6.99 EUR in some countries: Baltic states, Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, 4.99 EUR in Bulgaria), 129 PHP per month. Yes Unlimited Yes[note 1]
  1. ^ Offline mode, enhanced sound quality, exclusive content.

User community[edit]

A community of websites, blogs and 3rd-party applications and tools support Spotify.[163] Community resources include Facebook and Last.fm groups, Twitter bots and user forums, tools to display lyrics and services to list and notify users about new releases.[164] In 2010, Spotify blog The Pansentient League held the first Spotify Community Site Awards, with categories such as Best Playlist Sharing Site, Best News & Music Finder Site and Best Playlist Generator.[165]

Spotify led to an array of editorial content integrating playlists into articles. Popular music website Drowned in Sound is among the most notable examples, running every Friday as "Spotifriday" which involves a playlist of the site's content during the week shared with readers.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Spotify Engineering Culture - part 1
  2. ^ "spotify.com – Traffic Details from Alexa". Alexa Internet, Inc. Retrieved 20 March 2014. 
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External links[edit]