Spotify Subscription – Music Streaming Pioneer
- Company name: Spotify AB
- Industry: Streaming/Musik
- Formation: 2006
- Location: Stockholm, Schweden
- Founders: Daniel Ek & Martin Lorentzon
- Number of employees: 3,650 worldwide
- Turnover: EUR 5.26 billion (2018)
- Investors: not specified
- Total funding amount: not known
- Subscription-based model since: 2006
- Product cost: Free in the ad-supported version, €9.99/month for one person, €12.99/month for couples living under one roof (Spotify Premium Duo), €14.99/month for families (Premium Family up to 6 accounts) and €4.99/month for students (Spotify Premium Student).
Spotify is the undisputed market leader in music streaming. Since October 2006, Spotify has been in development; in Germany, the service has been on the market since 2012. However, 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.
Spotify subscription: Special benefits for students and families
In principle, you can also use the Spotify offer free of charge. You have the choice of using Spotify online in the web browser or in the app. The subscription to Spotify Premium offers extended features: no ads and all songs can be downloaded for offline listening. Especially for sports and travelling, this feature is a selling point for many customers. The Spotify Premium subscription is offered in four variants, with the first month free: the individual Premium subscription for €9.99 a month, as a student subscription for €4.99 for 1 account, for couples living under the same roof for €12.99 Duo subscription and as a family subscription for 6 people living at the same address for €14.99 a month. In some countries, such as India, the music streaming provider has to offer significantly cheaper Spotify subscription prices, as the purchasing power in these countries is lower.
The Spotify subscription offer is constantly being expanded
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 new feature is the “Daily Drive” playlist – consisting of short news podcasts and music. Cooperation partners such as Deutschlandfunk, Süddeutsche Zeitung or Zeit Online provide 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, 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 services
It was only in the last quarter of 2018 that Spotify made a profit for the first time: 94 million euros was the result. In April 2018, the company also went public. The company is dependent on its investors, including major labels in the music industry. The company has to pay fees per stream to the artists or the record label. In order for the company to be profitable at all, these royalties have to be very low – a point that is sharply criticised by many artists and labels. Another future option is the democratisation of the music industry. According to this, artists could be given more room to manoeuvre by Spotify & Co. in the future. At the expense of the music labels, which have to find new business models to secure their existence.