Spotify: Pioneers in Cloud Technology


Imagine backpacking through Europe.  While strolling down the streets of Vienna, you walk into a console booth, log in and immediately have access to your personal computer. Instantly all of your personal data, programs, settings are at your fingertips. Hard drives are a thing of the past and cloud computing technology is the future. This emergence in tomorrow’s technology is more evident than ever through Spotify.

Spotify is a cloud based service that allows people access to their 15 million song library, with the ability to develop playlists, share files as well as download mp3s.  Now, no matter where people are, they can access their customized playlists on Spotify’s cloud and download or share this data with other Spotify users.  The technological breakthrough is identified by Spotify’s seamless integration with user’s personal libraries and the ability to share files within your social network.

The company was founded in 2006 by Daniel Ek, former CTO of Stardoll, and Martin Lorentzon, co-founder of TradeDoubler.  After first obtaining European subscribers in 2008, Spotify has now spread to the United States during the summer of this year.  Spotify’s latest public subscription figure is over 11 million subscribers with over 1 million paying subscribers.

Sean Parker, the creator of Napster and investor of Spotify referred to the service as “the realization of a dream.”  The dream being the ability to share music files freely on the internet, while allowing the music industry to reap the economic benefits.  Now sharing files legally through Spotify is arguably more convenient to users than pirating files.  Spotify allows users limited free access to its cloud.  The user’s experience is monetized through Spotify’s paid subscription models and advertisements.  This means that users pay if they want the luxury of unlimited listening time, higher sound quality, mobile access, no advertising interruptions…etc.

Wondering what’s in store for the future of social music sharing?  Today, Spotify just made history by partnering with Facebook, debuting with Facebook’s latest revision of the site.  Spotify’s role is powering an app that allows for seamless music sharing on Facebook. When a Spotify user is listening to a song, that song is then automatically displayed in a live news-feed called a “ticker.”  As songs are linked on the “ticker,” fellow Facebook users can not only see what their friends are enjoying, but actually listen to the song by playing it off Spotify’s cloud based music player.  With over 750 million users, this will dramatically increase Spotify’s exposure to the masses and redefine how the world shares media. iTunes should be worried.

Spotify serves as a great example of what to expect from future cloud business models and how quickly the market can change with our fast pace of innovations.  Expect to find more companies that allows users to obtain, customize and share information freely while still being profitable.

We are in awe at the incredible innovators that surround us so we decided to highlight those hard-working brilliant minds in a blog post series called “Fresh Innovators.” By doing so we hope to not only showcase people who are doing great things but inspire others to do the same.


Trevor Essmeier