Spotify Technology SA: We’re Still Listening

In a year unlike any other in modern history, very few industries have escaped the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Between the loss of lives and livelihoods, to say global economies have been rattled would be an understatement. With concerts, festivals, and other public events increasingly feeling like folklore from a simpler time, the traditional entertainment industry has arguably been among the hardest hit in 2020.

Music streaming, however, has been a winner. The pandemic has seen a larger absolute increase in the number of users flocking to music streaming services than any year before. This continued embrace of streaming services will outlast the pandemic as the global demographic dividend finds more of the free-tiered youth shifting to paid subscription plans for their favorite services.

A Force To Be Reckoned With

There is one company that is not only synonymous with music streaming but has also exhibited major growth over a year that has been nothing if not challenging to navigate – Spotify Technology SA (NYSE: SPOT). Having recently announced a 29% year-on-year growth in active usership, bringing that total to 320 million monthly users, there is no denying that the Swedish-based media company is a force to be reckoned with.1

However, Spotify Technology SA is by no means the sole market player offering a seemingly unlimited collection of music on-demand, so what differentiates it from the likes of Apple Music and Amazon Prime – both of which have active user counts that are dwarfed by that of Spotify? It is especially impressive to consider the success Spotify has demonstrated when one remembers that these competitors are backed by older, more established tech giants with greater access to resources and distribution networks.

As a former Apple Music subscriber, I can speak for many loyal Spotify users when I say that the experience you get with the latter is simply better. Spotify has mastered its artificial intelligence algorithm that recommends new music to its listeners – this alone puts the platform on a different playing field from the rest. For anyone who is interested in music discovery, there is simply no other option. And while some technology can be copied, there is reason to believe that playing catch-up when it comes to the algorithms that inform music recommendations is no easy task.

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