SORRY.

A blog post by Spotify CEO Daniel Ek

We are in the middle of rolling out new terms and conditions and privacy policy and they’ve caused a lot of confusion about what kind of information we access and what we do with it. We apologize for that. We should have done a better job in communicating what these policies mean and how any information you choose to share will – and will not – be used.

We understand people’s concerns about their personal information and are 100 percent committed to protecting our users’ privacy and ensuring that you have control over the information you share.

So let me try and clear things up.

In our new privacy policy, we indicated that we may ask your permission to access new types of information, including photos, mobile device location, voice controls, and your contacts. Let me be crystal clear here: If you don’t want to share this kind of information, you don’t have to. We will ask for your express permission before accessing any of this data – and we will only use it for specific purposes that will allow you to customize your Spotify experience.

Photos: We will never access your photos without explicit permission and we will never scan or import your photo library or camera roll. If you give us permission to access photos, we will only use or access images that you specifically choose to share. Those photos would only be used in ways you choose and control – to create personalized cover art for a playlist or to change your profile image, for example.

Location: We will never gather or use the location of your mobile device without your explicit permission. We would use it to help personalize recommendations or to keep you up to date about music trending in your area. And if you choose to share location information but later change your mind, you will always have the ability to stop sharing.

Voice: We will never access your microphone without your permission. Many people like to use Spotify in a hands-free way, and we may build voice controls into future versions of the product that will allow you to skip tracks, or pause, or otherwise navigate the app. You will always have the ability to disable voice controls.

Contacts: We will never scan or import your contacts without your permission. Spotify is a social platform and many people like to share playlists and music they discover with their friends. In the future, we may want to give you the ability to find your friends on Spotify by searching for Spotify users in your contacts if you choose to do that.

Sharing: The Privacy Policy also mentions advertisers, rights holders and mobile networks. This is not new. With regard to mobile networks, some Spotify subscribers sign up through their mobile provider, which means some information is shared with them by necessity. We also share some data with our partners who help us with marketing and advertising efforts, but this information is de-identified – your personal information is not shared with them.

Again, we have heard your concerns loud and clear. We are also going to update the new Privacy Policy in the coming weeks to better reflect what we have explained above. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know by emailing us at privacycomments@spotify.com We’re listening to you and we take your concerns very seriously.

Daniel

 

Starbucks and Spotify Redefine Retail Experience By Connecting Spotify Streaming Music Service with World-Class Store and Digital Platform

Music and coffee, the perfect combination. We are very excited to announce that we will be the lead music partner for Starbucks. This new partnership will link its seven thousand company-operated stores in the U.S. and 10 Million My Starbucks Rewards loyalty members with Spotify’s more than 60 Million global users to offer a first-of-its-kind music ecosystem.

Read our full press release here:

Spotify viert vijfde verjaardag in Nederland

5 jaar

Vandaag viert Spotify haar vijfde verjaardag in Nederland. Wereldwijd heeft de muziekstreaming service al verspreid over 58 landen 60 miljoen gebruikers waarvan 15 miljoen betalende abonnees. In Nederland gebruikt inmiddels één op de zes in de markt muziek via Spotify.* Voor de Nederlandse markt betekent het dat van elke vier Euro die door de Nederlandse labels verdiend worden, er één van Spotify komt. **

Om de Nederlandse verjaardag te vieren blikt Spotify met diverse artiesten terug op de belangrijke feiten van de afgelopen jaren en maakt Spotify gebruik van data om te zien hoe ons luistergedrag is.

De meest populaire internationale artiesten in Nederland van de afgelopen jaren zijn Ed Sheeran, Coldplay en Avicii. In de lijst van alle internationale sterren is de Nederlandse band Racoon de eerste naam die opduikt, namelijk op de 18e plaats.

De meest populaire Nederlandse mannelijke artiest Marco Borsato zien we op de 24ste plek terug, Mr. Probz staat op de 25ste plaats. Opvallend, André Hazes volgt hen op de voet (27e plaats) in de meest gestreamde lijst vanaf 18 mei 2010. Na Marco Borsato volgt Guus Meeuwis op de derde plaats in de categorie Nederlandstalig. Anouk is de populairste vrouwelijke artiest en verovert een plekje te veroveren in de top 10 van meest populaire Nederlandse acts. Maaike Ouboter staat op de 11de plaats van de meest gestreamde Nederlandse vrouwen van de afgelopen jaren.

De meest populaire tracks in de historie van Spotify in Nederland zijn John Legend All of Me en vanuit Nederland zelf Waves van Mr. Probz met de remix van Robin Schulz. Niet alleen in Nederland had Mr. Probz succes maar ook zeker over de grens. Mr Probz: “Spotify heeft er zonder twijfel aan bijgedragen dat mijn muziek de wereld rond is gegaan voordat het gedraaid werd op de radio in de meeste landen.” Kenny B. die op de tiende plaats in de lijst staat, brak eerder dit jaar een Nederlands record met meer dan één miljoen streams in één week.

Eén van Nederlands grootste exportproducten dancemuziek laat ook op streamingdienst zijn sporen na. DJ en producer Armin van Buuren: “De afgelopen jaren heb ik een fantastische fanbase opgebouwd. Ik ben enorm trots op mijn 1,3 miljoen volgers die mij tot de meest gevolgde Nederlandse artiest op Spotify maken. Ik vind Spotify echt de toekomst voor muziek.” De meeste streams in Nederland waren voor Yellow Claw daarna Martin Garrix en Afrojack. Armin van Buuren volgt zijn collega’s op de voet met zijn vierde plaats.

* volgens Spotify en Zenith Optimedia data
** volgens de NVPI

Let’s Make Music Change

Editor’s Note: This blog was written by Kerry Steib, Director, Social Impact, Spotify.

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We love music and believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the joy and power that it brings to the world. Music is how we tell our stories, it reflects our culture, rallies us to action, and connects us to each other.

Around the world, we support organizations that use music to create social change.  They open up access to economic systems, foster confidence, and empower new voices to be heard.

But, we can do more.

Spotify’s strength comes from our community — the people who listen on our service, the employees who build it, the partnerships we develop, and the artists we work with.  We all share this belief that music is a powerful force.

Starting today, each initiative we take on can be made stronger by our collective action at Spotify.com/change.  Share a song to show support. Stream a playlist from young artists. Send a girl to rock camp.

Do more with us

Our first initiative is with Starkey Hearing Foundation, an organization that works with local and international teams to provide hearing care to hundreds of thousands of people each year.

Through volunteering last year, we met Jessa Mae, Isagani, and Eugene, who shared their stories with us.

 

Share the film to support the work of Starkey Hearing Foundation. Want to do more? You can help them reach their goal of giving 100 more people hearing care.

This is just the beginning.  Get involved at Spotify.com/change.

 

 

Introducing Touch Preview. A better way to preview any song, album, artist or playlist.

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Ever find yourself endlessly browsing through playlist after playlist, looking for the perfect music? “Teen Party” or “Party Hits”… how do you decide without listening?

Well, good news. Now, with Touch Preview, you can quickly get a sneak peek of any playlist, song, album or artist before you hit play. Just hold down your finger to the screen – you’ll instantly hear the music start.

And you can now save tunes you like to Your Music with one quick left-swipe. Building your collection of favourite songs has never been easier or faster.

It means less time looking for the perfect music, and more time actually listening to it.

Oh look, here’s a nice video we made.

Both Touch Preview and our new swipe gestures are available to iOS users from today, and will soon be rolled out across other platforms.

Spotify paints it black with new look for Windows Phone

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Today we’re bringing Windows Phone users the best-looking Spotify ever. With a darker theme, refreshed typography and rounded iconography, playing your favourite music has never looked so good. Our new design makes accessing your favourite music smoother than ever before. The new dark theme and refined interface lets the content come forward and ‘pop’, just like in a cinema when you dim the lights.

We also know that you’ve been looking for more ways of managing your music. So today we’re bringing Your Music to Windows Phone: helping you save, organise and browse your favourite music the way you want to. Save albums and browse their beautiful cover art, gather your favourite artists and create playlists for every mood and moment. Found a song or album that you like? Just hit save to add it to your collection. It’s that simple.

We’re also bringing you our updated Browse feature, delivering even more relevant and localised content. So regardless of whether you’re looking for something to fall asleep to, or the perfect playlist to get you geared up for your big night out, finding the right music for every moment is easier than ever.

Our new design, Your Music and the updated Browse will roll out to all Windows Phone 8 users starting today.

 

15 for ’15!

15-Million-Thank-YousWe had an amazing 2014 at Spotify and owe it all to you, the music fans who listen, discover, share and celebrate music and artists with us every day of the year.

And before 2014 turned into 2015, we reached 15 million subscribers and 60 million active users!

So as we set off into the new year, we want to send a giant thank you to all of you. We can’t wait for the year in music ahead!

 

Ontdek 20 jaar Rammstein – Entertainers met dildo’s en vlammenwerpers..nu ook bij Spotify.

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Vandaag verwelkomen wij bij Spotify de almachtige Rammstein uit Berlijn, met maar liefst zes briljante, exclusieve albums. Om geheel in de stemming te komen, bij deze 15 ‘need-to-know-facts’ over deze extravagante band.

  1. Rammstein ontstond uit de Oost Duitse ‘renegade D.I.Y. punk’ scene.
  2. De bandnaam komt van het Duitse woord voor “storm-ram” en een stadje wat bekend staat om een luchtvaart-show uit 1988, waarbij 70 mensen om het leven kwamen.
  3. Ooit was hun lijfspreuk “Wij willen alleen maar ‘entertainen’. Met vlammenwerpers.”
  4. Tijdens de live versie van Bück Dich, liet zanger Till Lindemann zijn broek zakken, om vervolgens een gigantische dildo tevoorschijn te halen en de eerste rijen met witte vloeistof te besproeien.
  5. Ze zijn net zo uniek en Duits als Kraftwerk, Neu! en Einstürzende Neubauten.
  6. Rammstein’s debuut single, Du Riechst So Gut  verscheen eerst in een geparfurmeerde digipak.
  7. De kaartverkoop van de legendarische Rammstein show in Madison Square Garden in New York, verkocht binnen een half uur na aanvang van verkoop volledig uit.
  8. Lindemann’s ander fameuze on-stage decor-stuk was een 70 kilo zware metalen jas, gedrenkt in ontvlambare pasta. Deze werd vervolgens in brand gezet.
  9. De wereldberoemde regisseur David Lynch gebruikte twee Rammstein songs in zijn film Lost Highway.
  10. Ze zijn de enige Duitse band die ooit doorbraken in de US.
  11. De song Mein Teil was geinspireerd op het waar gebeurde verhaal van de Duitse kannibaal die een advertentie plaatste voor een vrijwilliger, die zich door hem zou willen laten vermoorden en op eten.
  12. Rammstein was genomineerd voor ‘Best Metal Performance’ tijdens de Grammy Awards in 1999 en 2006.
  13. Een voormalig platenbaas van hunlabel beschreef ze ooit als volgt: “theater voor de  millennium generatie: metallic-techno in beeld gebracht met bizarre sado-masochistic elementen…”
  14. Tegenwoordig is het motto van de band:  “Doe je eigen ding – volledig over de top!”
  15. Keyboard speler “Flake” zei ooit, “We houden er van als het publiek met onze muziek worstelt ” dus waar wacht je op?!

 

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Big news everyone! We’ve teamed up with our friends at Uber to let you choose the soundtrack for your ride.

When you request a car, you’ll be able to choose the music you want to hear on the journey. When your ride arrives, it’ll be your tunes on the car’s speakers.

So how does it work?

 

  1. Connect your Spotify account from the Uber Profile screen or sign up.
  2. Request a ride in the Uber app. If you get matched with a music-enabled Uber, the music bar will appear at the bottom of the Uber app.
  3. Tap the music bar and select music from our ready-made playlist, your playlists or search for something new.
  4. If you want you can wirelessly control the music from either the Uber or Spotify apps until you arrive at your destination.
  5. Sit back and enjoy the soundtrack to your ride.

The new Uber and Spotify integration, available to all Uber and Spotify Premium users on iOS and Android (in beta), starts rolling out on Friday, Nov. 21 in our 10 launch cities. The integration will continue to roll out globally over the coming weeks.

And finally, to help celebrate we’re giving fans a chance to connect with some of their favourite artists such as Diplo, Andrew W.K. and Jake Owen. Stay tuned for more details!

 

 

$2 Billion and Counting

A blog post written by Daniel Ek (@eldsjal)

Taylor Swift is absolutely right: music is art, art has real value, and artists deserve to be paid for it. We started Spotify because we love music and piracy was killing it. So all the talk swirling around lately about how Spotify is making money on the backs of artists upsets me big time. Our whole reason for existence is to help fans find music and help artists connect with fans through a platform that protects them from piracy and pays them for their amazing work. Quincy Jones posted on Facebook that “Spotify is not the enemy; piracy is the enemy”. You know why? Two numbers: Zero and Two Billion. Piracy doesn’t pay artists a penny – nothing, zilch, zero. Spotify has paid more than two billion dollars to labels, publishers and collecting societies for distribution to songwriters and recording artists. A billion dollars from the time we started Spotify in 2008 to last year and another billion dollars since then. And that’s two billion dollars’ worth of listening that would have happened with zero or little compensation to artists and songwriters through piracy or practically equivalent services if there was no Spotify – we’re working day and night to recover money for artists and the music business that piracy was stealing away.

When I hear stories about artists and songwriters who say they’ve seen little or no money from streaming and are naturally angry and frustrated, I’m really frustrated too. The music industry is changing – and we’re proud of our part in that change – but lots of problems that have plagued the industry since its inception continue to exist. As I said, we’ve already paid more than $2 billion in royalties to the music industry and if that money is not flowing to the creative community in a timely and transparent way, that’s a big problem. We will do anything we can to work with the industry to increase transparency, improve speed of payments, and give artists the opportunity to promote themselves and connect with fans – that’s our responsibility as a leader in this industry; and it’s the right thing to do.

We’re trying to build a new music economy that works for artists in a way the music industry never has before. And it is working – Spotify is the single biggest driver of growth in the music industry, the number one source of increasing revenue, and the first or second biggest source of overall music revenue in many places. Those are facts. But there are at least three big misconceptions out there about how we work, how much we pay, and what we mean for the future of music and the artists who create it. Let’s take a look at them.

Myth number one: free music for fans means artists don’t get paid. On Spotify, nothing could be further from the truth. Not all free music is created equal – on Spotify, free music is supported by ads, and we pay for every play. Until we launched Spotify, there were two economic models for streaming services: all free or all paid, never together, and both models had a fatal flaw. The paid-only services never took off (despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing), because users were being asked to pay for something that they were already getting for free on piracy sites. The free services, which scaled massively, paid next to nothing back to artists and labels, and were often just a step away from piracy, implemented without regard to licensing, and they offered no path to convert all their free users into paying customers. Paid provided monetization without scale, free reached scale without monetization, and neither produced anywhere near enough money to replace the ongoing decline in music industry revenue.

We had a different idea. We believed that a blended option – or ‘freemium’ model – would build scale and monetization together, ultimately creating a new music economy that gives fans access to the music they love and pays artists fairly for their amazing work. Why link free and paid? Because the hardest thing about selling a music subscription is that most of our competition comes from the tons of free music available just about everywhere. Today, people listen to music in a wide variety of ways, but by far the three most popular ways are radio, YouTube, and piracy – all free. Here’s the overwhelming, undeniable, inescapable bottom line: the vast majority of music listening is unpaid. If we want to drive people to pay for music, we have to compete with free to get their attention in the first place.

So our theory was simple – offer a terrific free tier, supported by advertising, as a starting point to attract fans and get them in the door. And unlike other free music options – from piracy to YouTube to SoundCloud – we pay artists and rights holders every time a song is played on our free service. But it’s not as flexible or uninterrupted as Premium. If you’ve ever used Spotify’s free service on mobile, you know what I mean – just like radio, you can pick the kind of music you want to hear but can’t control the specific song that’s being played, or what gets played next, and you have to listen to ads. We believed that as fans invested in Spotify with time, listening to their favorite music, discovering new music and sharing it with their friends, they would eventually want the full freedom offered by our premium tier, and they’d be willing to pay for it.

We were right. Our free service drives our paid service. Today we have more than 50 million active users of whom 12.5 million are subscribers each paying $120 per year. That’s three times more than the average paying music consumer spent in the past. What’s more, the majority of these paying users are under the age of 27, fans who grew up with piracy and never expected to pay for music. But here’s the key fact: more than 80% of our subscribers started as free users. If you take away only one thing, it should be this: No free, no paid, no two billion dollars.

Myth number two: Spotify pays, but it pays so little per play nobody could ever earn a living from it. First of all, let’s be clear about what a single stream – or listen – is: it’s one person playing one song one time. So people throw around a lot of stream counts that seem big and then tell you they’re associated with payouts that sound small. But let’s look at what those counts really represent. If a song has been listened to 500 thousand times on Spotify, that’s the same as it having been played one time on a U.S. radio station with a moderate sized audience of 500 thousand people. Which would pay the recording artist precisely … nothing at all. But the equivalent of that one play and its 500 thousand listens on Spotify would pay out between three and four thousand dollars. The Spotify equivalent of ten plays on that radio station – once a day for a week and a half – would be worth thirty to forty thousand dollars.

Now, let’s look at a hit single, say Hozier’s ‘Take Me To Church’. In the months since that song was released, it’s been listened to enough times to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for his label and publisher. At our current size, payouts for a top artist like Taylor Swift (before she pulled her catalog) are on track to exceed $6 million a year, and that’s only growing – we expect that number to double again in a year. Any way you cut it, one thing is clear – we’re paying an enormous amount of money to labels and publishers for distribution to artists and songwriters, and significantly more than any other streaming service.

Myth number three: Spotify hurts sales, both download and physical. This is classic correlation without causation – people see that downloads are down and streaming is up, so they assume the latter is causing the former. Except the whole correlation falls apart when you realize a simple fact: downloads are dropping just as quickly in markets where Spotify doesn’t exist. Canada is a great example, because it has a mature music market very similar to the US. Spotify launched in Canada a few weeks ago. In the first half of 2014, downloads declined just as dramatically in Canada – without Spotify – as they did everywhere else. If Spotify is cannibalising downloads, who’s cannibalising Canada?

By the same token, we’ve got a great list of artists who promoted their new releases on Spotify and had terrific sales and lots of streaming too – like Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Lana Del Rey and alt-J. Artists from Daft Punk to Calvin Harris to Eminem had number ones and were on Spotify at the same time too.

Which brings us back to Taylor Swift. She sold more than 1.2 million copies of 1989 in the US in its first week, and that’s awesome. We hope she sells a lot more because she’s an exceptional artist producing great music. In the old days, multiple artists sold multiple millions every year. That just doesn’t happen any more; people’s listening habits have changed – and they’re not going to change back. You can’t look at Spotify in isolation – even though Taylor can pull her music off Spotify (where we license and pay for every song we’ve ever played), her songs are all over services and sites like YouTube and Soundcloud, where people can listen all they want for free. To say nothing of the fans who will just turn back to pirate services like Grooveshark. And sure enough, if you looked at the top spot on The Pirate Bay last week, there was 1989

Here’s the thing I really want artists to understand: Our interests are totally aligned with yours. Even if you don’t believe that’s our goal, look at our business. Our whole business is to maximize the value of your music. We don’t use music to drive sales of hardware or software. We use music to get people to pay for music. The more we grow, the more we’ll pay you. We’re going to be transparent about it all the way through. And we have a big team of your fellow artists here because if you think we haven’t done well enough, we want to know, and we want to do better. None of that is ever going to change.

We’re getting fans to pay for music again. We’re connecting artists to fans they would never have otherwise found, and we’re paying them for every single listen. We’re not just streaming, we’re mainstreaming now, and that’s good for music makers and music lovers around the world.