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Spotify – how it all started


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Background to the Spotify success story

Spotify – how it all started

  1. 1. Spotify – how it all started DevCon 2010 Andreas Ehn Twitter: @ehn CC0 and in the public domain to the extent possible
  2. 2. Spotify All the world’s music anywhere, anytime Online music streaming Better than piracy
  3. 3. Background Founded spring 2006 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon Got going August 2006 with a small tech team mostly from KTH, six people in total Launched private beta for friends and family in May 2007
  4. 4. About 20 people by summer 2008 First external financing round in summer 2008: Northzone and Creandum Launched publicly in October 2008 About 40 people at launch
  5. 5. August 2008
  6. 6. Second external financing round in summer 2009: Wellington and Horizons Mobile apps released in fall 2009 (first iPhone and Android, then S60)
  7. 7. Almost 10 million users in seven markets 9.5 million songs Offices in Stockholm, Oslo, London, New York, Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam About 220 people in the company
  8. 8. The challenge Music is ubiquitous and in practice essentially free on the Internet The music industry’s response – DRM and lawsuits – alienates customers and causes more problems for legitimate users than pirates
  9. 9. The opportunity Despite music’s being free, the user experience was bad Accessing music from different places and devices was cumbersome User’s should be willing to pay – with their attention or their wallet – for something better
  10. 10. The solution Move from a distribution model based on ownership to one based on access Make it ubiquitous Make it free or significantly better than free alternative to create an incentive to pay
  11. 11. Scalable backend P2P Internet client client client Spotify protocol access access point point Spotify backend mostly HTTP user user tracker search storage service state selection of backend services (some are independent; other have interdependencies)
  12. 12. Instant playback
  13. 13. Efficient distribution
  14. 14. Conclusions Fighting what users want is a losing game “Don’t bet against the Internet” – Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt Identify what’s bad about the current user experience and figure out how to improve it – without losing the good parts Spend your marketing dollars on product development
  15. 15. Thanks! Andreas Ehn <> Twitter: @ehn CC0 and in the public domain to the extent possible (photos, screen shots, trademarks and logos owned by Spotify of course)