Spotify is already a staple of the digital industry—it’s a streaming music app that no self-respecting smartphone should be without. This massive company, which has 422 million active users and 182 million paying customers, decided to go public in 2018, hoping to gain a competitive edge over rivals like Apple and its iTunes service, Pandora, or Amazon Music.
But from where does the well-known green color app originate? We will go into more detail about the background of this dominant streaming music service in this article.
How Spotify was born
Daniel Ek, Spotify’s founder, combined his two loves for music and technology to create the Swedish company. Daniel was so bright that he started his first business at 14 by hiring his classmates from high school to work on the development and design of websites.
When Ek applied for Google at 16, he was turned down because he lacked a degree. As a result, he founded Advertigo, a prosperous online marketing business where he went on to have a successful career. So much so that, in 2006, at 23, he sold Advertigo to the global powerhouse Tradedoubler.
And that was a crucial step in developing its flagship project because it persuaded Martin Lorentzon, a Swedish co-founder of Tradedoubler, to make the financial commitment required to bring Spotify to life.
A name that, curiously, was accidentally generated during a conversation between Lorentzon and Ek as they searched for a name for the new creation. It is one that we are already accustomed to reading and hearing. One of them could use Spotify and liked it, so they went to register it because it wasn’t already.
After settling on a name, the engineers started working on the application, initially just for computers, and this is how Spotify’s streaming music business model came to be. For instance, one of the curious developers was the man responsible for uTorrent, which BitTorrent soon after integrated.
Spotify gave play in 2008
Although Lorentzon and Ek founded Spotify in 2006, the songs’ public release was postponed by more than two years due to negotiations with record labels to obtain song licenses.
When it first debuted on October 7, 2008, Spotify was intended to be a computer program for online music listening and was, in theory, only accessible in a small number of European nations, including Sweden, Finland, Norway, France, the United Kingdom, and Spain. Millions of songs could be accessed by users without any downloading.
Naturally, you had to be invited if you wanted to use the application for free; otherwise, you had to purchase a subscription. However, with the introduction of the iPhone and Android smartphones, Spotify realized that if they wanted to be taken seriously, they had to be present on users’ devices. As a result, in 2009, they developed a mobile app that allowed users to take their music with them wherever they went. Along with the free option, they also created the Premium one, which they continue to offer today (although they have added new plans within it).
The Spotify creator announced in November 2011 that Spotify would be transformed into the Spotify Platform. This platform would be able to host third-party applications soon after arriving in the US. Since music transcended mere musical expression, Daniel Ek explained that publications like Rolling Stone were integrated into the platform with channels or apps that allowed users to view song lyrics, like TuneWiki. The goal was to show the user that Spotify was more than just a song player by guiding them through the entire music catalog.
Additionally, Spotify made it possible for users on its platform to see what their contacts were listening to and even share it with them.
Spotify Free removes the limit of listening hours
Some Spotify users will recall that “tedious” restriction of 20 hours of music per month that it imposed in its free version, even though I haven’t mentioned it yet. Yes, it was a setback for those who did not want to upgrade to Premium, but that was exactly what Spotify hoped to achieve with this move.
The big announcement, however, came in 2014 when the industry leader in streaming music declared the 20-hour limit would never again apply. But would it be free? Only in exchange for interstitial advertising that you couldn’t skip. It was the “price” imposed on Spotify’s free tier users.
Additionally, Spotify partnered with Topspin in 2014 to add some of its artists’ merchandise to its platform. A year later, Spotify continued to stake its bet on the user experience by joining Starbucks to “put music to the cafes.”
The most social part of Spotify
The platform had to adjust over time to the popularity of social networks. Spotify partnered with Facebook in 2016 to enable music sharing through Messenger, and soon after, the streaming music service partnered with Twitter to allow music listening without leaving the social network.
Parallel to all this, in the history of Spotify, there has also been room to bet on photography by buying the CrowdAlbum platform so that users can share photos and videos of the performances of their favorite artists. On the other hand, Spotify also opted to launch a series of its production. Likewise, Spotify ratified in 2016 the success of its “Discover Weekly” list, based on weekly discoveries adapted to each type of user and generated according to their musical tastes. Personalization to power.
Since then, Spotify has continued to expand and introduce new products, ignoring the critics who called for its demise daily, contending with fresh competitors like Tidal, and challenging those who openly question its business model.
Following the significant technology trends
It was essential for Spotify to stay on the cutting edge of technology. It announced the launch of its new voice-activated ads in May 2019 in response to the growing popularity of voice search and device interaction.
These advertisements were initially made to promote listening to particular podcasts or playlists, requiring users to speak to engage with the advertisement’s content.
The advertisement would continue to play if the user didn’t respond or spoke something different from the voice command. It was decided that users with voice control turned on in Spotify would be the only ones who could use them.