Spotify is a Swedish music streaming and media services provider that was founded in 2006. It is operated by Spotify AB, which has been publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange since 2018 through Luxembourg-domiciled holding company Spotify Technology S.A., itself a constituent of the Russell 1000 Index. Spotify’s main headquarters is in Stockholm, Sweden, and its corporate headquarters is in New York City, USA
The company mainly provides an audio streaming platform, also called “Spotify”, that was launched in October 2008. It offers DRM-restricted recorded music and podcasts, including more than 60 million songs, from record labels and media companies. As a freemium service, basic features are free with advertisements or automatic music videos, while additional features, such as offline listening and commercial-free listening, are offered via paid subscriptions. Users can browse by parameters such as artist, album, or genre, and can create, edit, and share playlists.
Spotify is available in most of Europe and the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Africa and Asia, and on most modern devices, including Windows, macOS, and Linux computers, and iOS, and Android smartphones and tablets.As of July 2020, the company had 299 million monthly active users, including 138 million paying subscribers.
Unlike physical or download sales, which pay artists a fixed price per song or album sold, Spotify pays royalties based on the number of artist streams as a proportion of total songs streamed. It distributes approximately 70% of its total revenue to rights holders, who then pay artists based on their individual agreements. Spotify has faced criticism from artists and producers, including Taylor Swift and Thom Yorke, who have argued that it does not compensate musicians fairly. In 2017, as part of its efforts to renegotiate license deals for an interest in going public, Spotify announced that artists would be able to make albums temporarily exclusive to paid subscribers if the albums are part of Universal Music Group or the Merlin Network.