This post is updated with additional information on March 22, 2016.
Companies, who are providing audio streaming is growing daily along with the service they are offering. Audio streaming allows music-lovers to access millions of songs, from mobile devices or PC. Audio streaming service providers charge a monthly flat fee to access millions of melodies.
In fact, Daniel Ek (CEO of Spotify) announced, they have 30 million subscribers.
— Daniel Ek (@eldsjal) March 21, 2016
I know, your answer is Spotify. But, what’s make Spotify so popular? Here are some different types of services that make Spotify different from other streaming music services.
An excellent combination of a large library, good user interface and wide support of devices and features – make it the first choice of music-lovers. Spotify can be accessible to desktop software for Mac OS and Windows and iOS, android mobile device and so on.
Spotify’s desktop software scans the local folders and can also import playlists from iTunes and the Windows Media Player so users can play tunes from the Spotify server or their local ones.
Right now, more than 30 million songs are accessible and thus, users can create a free account to test the service. Best of all, Spotify can use on all your mobile devices.
 Spotify free: if you have a free account, you can listen millions of songs on your desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone, but it is limited to 10 hours per month.
 Spotify Premium costs $9.99/month: This account gives you the full-fledged version of an album every month. With the premium option, you can stream unlimited albums to your desktop, mobile by using offline mode and home audio systems like Squeezebox and Sonos.
 Spotify Trial: It offers a 30-days trial for Spotify Premium.
It’s not easy for Spotify to manage everything in a Python-based backend system and thus, it has decided to go with the Google Cloud Platform. This massive task will happen over the coming weeks and months without any disruption for users. With this move, Google finds themselves as a winner for their burgeoning cloud business.
Spotify wants to help its listeners by enabling them to listen to music whenever and whatever they want to. In that case, it faces a lot of the continuous challenge of cataloging yesterday, today and future’s catalogue. More than 20,000 tracks are added by Spotify a day to its catalogue.
Operations director for Spotify, Emil Fredriksson explains to AWS, “Spotify needed a storage solution that could scale very quickly without incurring long lead times for upgrades. This led us to cloud storage, and in that market, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is the most mature large-scale product. Amazon S3 gives us confidence in our ability to expand storage quickly while also providing high data durability.”
Considering Spotify’s requirements, AWS comes with a solution of developing Python-based backend systems that communicate with a huge volume of content in Amazon S3. Moreover, the Spotify application and software updates are also delivered by Amazon CloudFront to its users.
We can say that Amazon Web Services (AWS) helps Spotify in estimating its infrastructure to meet developing business goals. Fredriksson notes, “By removing the restrictions incurred by in-house solutions, we enabled much faster development and deployment cycles.”
Not only evaluating, but also, company examines the chances of integrating the new services into current AWS feature stack.
Spotify has selected Google Cloud Platform as an infrastructure partners for their music streaming service. Until now, Spotify has been managing hardware burden themselves through data centers and multiple providers.
But, the music company feels the robustness of cloud platform products that have reached a level of maturity and they are happy to outsource. It’s a really big deal to work with cloud leader, Google. Moreover, Spotify could have selected to expand its service with Microsoft’s Azure cloud and AWS as well.
“It’s a competitive space and we expect the big players to be battling it out for the foreseeable future”, said the spoken person. Within 5 years, Google wants their cloud business to be more profitable than their current ads business.
Gradually, Spotify is unveiling the numbers behind its decision to move to the cloud and also strengthening the instance for ‘Why Google?’ – everyone thinks. Here, the missing evaluation is the COST.
Thanks to Google for making pricing so transparent and simple to work with. Here, we are using Spotify’s blog to calculate some listing price what Spotify might pay for Google.
As of now, we only have a real number for event delivery service. Previously, Spotify was using Kafka in its own data centres, however, now it decided to move to Google Pub/Sub.
Pub/Sub pricing of Google is based on 3 key variables, i.e.
Let’s go through Spotify’s numbers
Considering Spotify’s blog post, we can extract the below given numbers.
The overall Calculation
700,000 events per second = 1,874,880,000,000 events per month
= 5,624,640,000,000 API calls per month (3 API calls per event)
= $300 for the first 1,750,000,000 API calls
= $0.05 per 1,000,000 API calls after that
= (5,624,640,000,000–1,750,000,000) = 5,622,890,000,000
= (5,622,890,000,000/1,000,000) = 5,622,890
= 5,622,890 * $0.05
= $281,144.50 per month
$0 if all within a single region but if we assume 1 secondary region consumer:
1,874,880,000,000 messages * 0.0000000625 GB
= 117,180 GBP
= 117,180 * $0.08
Total Cost: $281,144.50 + $9,374.40 = $290,518.90/month
Really! Spotify Paying $290,518/month
Yes. No doubt, cost is important, however, using public cloud and especially managed services like pub/sub is the biggest advantage that provides ease of deployment and not having to manage/scale everything.
Remember, this is the one part of Spotify’s product. There are other Google products that still we have to learn such as Dataflow, Compute Engine, BigQuery, especially in the networking cost for streaming all the media.
After Integrated Uber with Facebook Messenger, now, Facebook is ready to launch “it’s very first music integration” with Spotify.
It’s a wow feeling for music lover – Android and iOS users will find a Spotify option inside the Messenger “More” section. Just you have to click on it to reach into Spotify’s app where they can “Search tunes for something to share.”
Image Credit: http://techcrunch.com/
Once users will select a choose a song, artist or playlist, they will go off to the Messenger with the option to share the picture of the cover creation. When their friend taps that picture, they will reach to Spotify to listen.
Interestingly, for Facebook Messenger’s users, the team has also created a playlist that tells what they have been listening to increase the app’s growth to 800 million users.
Spotify connects with email, SMS, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger for sending tunes to your friends, isn’t it musical? However now, you can share song when you are chatting. Previously, users rely on screenshots or just write the song for sharing with the friend. Now, no more typing, just sharing and that’s it.
Users can have a deep conversation about music as Messenger can become a richer social layer that connects Spotify users to boost engagement and thus, it generates platform lock-in and potential monetization opportunities for the social media site, Facebook. For Spotify, it offers virality that could help it keep away Apple Music. Is it a great deal? Let’s See.
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