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The Playlist – Story of Spotify (Documentary Notes)

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I just watched a documentary on Spotify today on Netflix. Took me 6 hours to go through the whole thing and while it could be more condensed, there are still some highly valuable lessons inside for you. So in this short piece I want to put them right here for us, so that we could all benefit from it.

  1. In business, if you have a partner, there should be one doing the creatives while the other do the managements. The most important thing that has to be there is trust.
  2. User experience matters. For Spotify, it is speed of loading up a song. It has to feel like instantaneous so the user would not even be able to tell that the song was being downloaded while it was playing. That is what makes or breaks the product. It is also how Spotify stands out from the crowd and gained its No.1 status in its industry.
  3. For every business, you have to figure out a way to make money, aka make the whole model works and sustainable. For Spotify it is there Spotify Premium plan, which sort of supports the Free Plan and its goal of making music free to everyone. They didn’t get that right on Day 1. They used to run a Ad revenue only model. But it is the Premium Plan that makes the whole thing work.
  4. There would be challenges along the way – like how the music labels rejected the idea and refused to provide the licenses to Spotify at first. It was the biggest problem that Spotify faced before launch. They solved it by reluctantly providing some shares to the music labels. Some people inside Spotify at that time feel like this is a blatant “selling out” move, that Spotify is no longer the disrupter, no longer the rebel of the industry. Even the founders are quite against this idea at the moment of signing. But it was proven to be the crucial step in the right direction. Without it, Spotify would not be able to get its feet off the ground.

Hope you are doing well my friend. Let’s keep going.