& Matt Tischone
Music and the Internet
- Spotify is a Swedish company and it was founded in April 2006 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon. It was officially launched October 2008, and became a publicly traded company in April 2018.
- There is 3000+ employees who work for Spotify. Spotify began trading publicly on April 3, 2018, and is worth between 20 and 27 billion (~26.6 billion) as of their April IPO. (The company is valued so highly because of its potential to turn a profit)
- *General Usability*
- Spotify for Artists allows artists to claim their profiles, making them verified. Artists can see analytics of their music, like which is performing best, and how fans are discovering their music around the world.
- Coupled with that is the possibility of linking merch, tour dates, newest releases, etc.
- Spotify is a freemium service, offering more features to those who will pay it’s 9.99$ monthly fee. They do have student pricing as well, offering .99$/3 month package before a monthly 5.99$. Unfortunately, this is not offered to residents/students of Quebec. They also offer family pricing which is a fixed 14.99$ per month and allows 5 users to have premium features. The beta-tested Spotify Hi Fi has a working price of 19.99$.
- Spotify is available on pretty much all platforms. Windows, MacOS, and Linux. For mobile, it is available on Android, iOS, and Windows phones. You can also get it on all your video game consoles, TVs and TV extras (Chromecast, Roku) as well as in your car (Tesla, etc)
Audio Streaming Quality
- On computer, default Spotify setting (Normal) is 160 kbps. High quality = 320 kbps
- n mobile, Normal is 96kbps, High quality is 160 kbps, and Extreme is 320 kbps (all done to preserve users’ mobile data). Low is an abysmal 24 kbps.
- If you decide to store music for offline listening on your phone, you must specify which quality you want. Normal is typically the default
- Spotify uses OGG Vorbis
- Spotify Hi-Fi is a beta feature that Spotify is still gathering info on. They want to know how many of their subscribers would pay for lossless audio quality before the decide they want to enter into that market.
- Spotify also has an EQ setting, and volume normalizations setting
- You can draw in your own EQ or pick from existing presets
- You can pick volume normalization for different environments, possibly altering the limiting and compression of tracks to be louder in louder environments while possibly utilizing an expander to be more dynamic in quiet environments.
- Spotify has over 30 million songs in its catalog, compared to Apple Music’s 45 million and Tidal’s 50 million .
- Based on listening history, Spotify will recommend artists from the same genres, as well as similar artists that are shared on the same playlists the song is featured on.
- They also have Release Radar and Discovery Weekly, which recommend new music to users every week.
- Spotify bought Niland in 2017 to develop its music personalization and recommendation system.
Playlist Generation and Management
- On opening, Spotify will have announcements that feature new albums, and relevant playlists. For instance, if it is Friday, you might see a TGIF playlist with some more upbeat music to celebrate the weekend.
- Spotify gives you the means to search user-generated playlists containing your favorite songs. You can search for music and see in who’s playlists those songs are featured.
- You can also make your own playlists, giving them titles and descriptions so that when people search for music containing those keywords, it will pop up.
- You can follow other people’s playlists, and all the additions or changes they make will be reflected on the playlist.
- At the bottom of every playlist page will be recommended songs based on the songs featured on the playlist.
- Spotify will also self generate playlists based on the most songs you listened to that year (for your TBT), songs you may not listen to anymore, and new music based on the artists you follow or listen to.
Number of Subscribers
- As of June/July 2018, Spotify has 83 million premium subscribers. June last year, Spotify had 57 million the year before. In 2017, there were 140 million users. In 2018, there is now 180 million users
Spotify uses Python (data analysis and backend), Java (other non-Python services), C and C++
- Audio Features and Analysis: Read calculated audio features of tracks to learn about danceability, energy, valence, etc
- Playback Portability: Play music directly in web browsers, and embed widgets with Spotify’s look
- Recommendations: Get available genre seeds for recommendations and use specific controls to generate specific recommendations using Spotify’s algorithms
- Search: Search based on any, or user's specific market
- Playlists: Read, modify, delete user playlists, like Discover Weekly and Release Radar
- Metadata: Play 30 second clips of tracks, read ISRC of any track, read algorithmically related artists of any track
- Curated Content: View featured playlsits, new releases, top charts, and genre specific collections
- User's Taste: Read iser's top tracks, artists, and recently played; as well as, saving tracks and albums