Spotify Technology S.A. is a Swedish media-services provider founded in 2006. The company’s primary business is its audio streaming platform that provides DRM-protected music and podcasts 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 improved streaming quality, are offered via paid subscriptions.
Launched on 7 October 2008, the Spotify platform provides access to over 50 million tracks. 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, Linux, and iOS, and Android smartphones and tablets.
Unlike physical or download sales, which pay artists a fixed price per song or album sold, Spotify pays royalties based on the number of artists streams as a proportion of total songs streamed. It distributes approximately 70% of 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 fairly compensate musicians. 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 subscriptions if they are part of Universal Music Group or the Merlin Network.
Spotify is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. Since February 2018, it has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
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