ASSIGNMENT OUTLINE:
Introduction – summarize what the assignment is about and what the reader should expect to learn from the work you have accomplished
2. Company profile

Name
Background (describe what the company does and offers)
Industry (as defined by the case)
Revenue/Profitability (last 5 years)
Company size (e.g., number of employees or sales)
3. Analysis

Business model (customer value proposition and business formula)
Vision, Mission, Values
External analysis

Macro-environment
Porter’s 5 forces
Overall opportunities and threats (2 of each)
Internal analysis

Ratio analysis (current strategic effectiveness)
Core competencies
VRIN resources and capabilities
(Sustained) Competitive advantages
Value-chain analysis (3-5 functions)
Overall strengths and weaknesses (2 of each)
4. Corporate/diversification strategies

Discuss the company’s corporate/diversification strategy and its effectiveness
5. Business/Competitive Strategies

Discuss the company’s business/competitive strategy and its effectiveness
6. International Strategies

Discuss the company’s international strategies and entry modes and their effectiveness. If the company does not have foreign operations, propose a scenario discussing the appropriate strategies and modes for international expansion.
7. Ethics, CSR, and sustainability

How well the company measures up against the competition on these criteria
8. Organizational Structure

Discuss important structural issues that pertain to your organization (e.g., type of organizational structure, span of control, corporate governance, etc.)
9. Key Issues and Problems

Based on your assessment of all aspects of the business (Point 1-8), you have to identify 2-3 key problems that the company is facing and/or issues it needs to address
10. Strategic Alternatives

Provide at least two strategic alternatives that can solve the key problems you identified. Each alternative must be broadly stated and incorporate elements from the company’s corporate and business strategies
11. Evaluation and Selection

Using your SWOT analysis, evaluate each alternative. Indicate how each alternative can solve the problems and/or address the issues you have identified. Which of the two better fits your SWOT? This will be the alternative that you can propose the company to implement. Make sure to explain how the winning alternative better fits your SWOT than the other alternative(s) you have proposes and considered
12. Recommendations

Detail the specific steps that the company has to make to implement the alternative you chose
13. Implementation Issues

State what the company should be weary of in relation to pursuing the desired course of action
14. Conclusions

Present your final reflections on your work, restating key points from the purpose of the project and your findings.
Parameters
Your project must be 3500-4000 words in length.
Cite all your sources. Use APA citations.
CASE 9
Spotify in 2020: Can the Company
Remain Competitive?
Diana R. Garza
University of the Incarnate Word
exponentially growing its
number of subscribers,
multiple acquisitions that
add new competencies
and capabilities, and
brand-name partnerships
with
industry leaders such as Disney,
Xbox, and Samsung
among others. Spotify’s ongoing
transformation is
based on the rapid adoption of streaming
music and
subscription services and its leverage
with smart
phones, tablets, smart TVs,
and high-speed internet
access. As early as 2015, digital streaming
became
the primary revenue stream
for recorded music, sur
passing physical format sales
of CDs.
Spotify knows its user’s preferences
perhaps bet-
ter than subscribers themselves.
The company relies
on its analytical capabilities to
create a competitive
advantage. Through the use of analysis,
machine
learning algorithms, and its
vast amounts of data,
subscribers are presented with personalized playlists
and other recommendations. The use of AI
has also
created value for artists allowing them to understand
B
efore streaming music, many consumers may
have been using file sharing services Napster,
LimeWire, Pirate Bay, and other companies
to download music. Using these services, cost
the
music industry billions each year by downloading
and redistributing music (what we know as music
piracy and, in legal terms, copyright infringement).
According to the Recording Industry
Association of
America (RIAA), piracy of recorded music
has cost
the recording industry billions in lost
revenues and
profits (2020). It is estimated
that the U.S. economny
loses $12.5 billion in total output as a consequence
of music theft, and approximately 71,000 jobs
in the
U.S. economy are lost.
Daniel Ek, one of the two founders
of Spotify,
has not only transformed himself in
the last 14 years,
his transformation is also
reflective of his beloved
fasted growing streaming offspring-the world’s
music service-Spotify. Ek and Spotify
came to revo
lutionize the music industry, Daniel Ek
knows well
that to remain competitive, the company
needs to
differentiate its products and services. In
the race
to remain competitive, Spotify paid
more than
$340 million just in the past year acquiring
podcast
companies. Streaming services
and the subscription
market will continue to grow
from approximately
$8 billion in 2019 to over $17
billion by 2024. Spotifyy
has entered a race where
the pace is quickening
with
Spotify’s average monthly
users growing faster over
the last three quarters
but also other music
services
adding podcasts and
retooling themselves to
remain
strong rivals.
Spotify’s growth strategies
include an ad-based
business model allowing for both
a free and paid
subscription, global expansion into
different markets
and visualize (through Spotify graphs) user engage-
ment, monthly/daily listeners, metrics, and demo-
graphic details. An added advantage of using data
analytics is being able to customize specific ads to
different regions.
Company History
Founded in 2006, Spotify took the streaming musio
industry by surprise with its unprecedented growth
in the last six years. Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzo
founded Spotify as a small startup in Stockholm
Sweden. Their startup
response to a growing piracy problem in the musi.
industry. Ek and Loretzon knew there had to be
music platform was i
Copyright 2021 by Diana R. Garza. All rights reserved.
betler way for artists to monetize tincir music and
give consumers a legitinate and simpler way to listen
to music. ln 2008, Spotily tansformed music listen-
ing when it launched its streaming service, offering
listeners access to a library of musie rather than
making users pay for downloading albums or tracks.
The music industry, which had been suffering from
spending declines. resisted this new business model Growth Year by Year
of offering “unlimited access.” and favored the eur-
rent digital download model used by Apple ilunes
Spotify began by offering its frec subseription by
invitation only as a way to nmanage growth: paid sub-
scriptions were open to everyone. At the same time,
Spotify also announced licensing deals with music
labels
In early 2009. Spotifjy opened its free registration
tier to the public in the United Kingdom only. Due to
a surge in registrations following the Spotify
mobile
app’s release, Spotify closed its open registration
in
late 2009 and returned to invitation only. In 2010,
Spotity integrated with Shazam
to figure out who
was singing a particular song and would
then pop-
ulate a playlist. Spotify was launched in
the United
States in July 2011, allowing users a
six-month free
ad-supported trial period to listen
to unlimited music.
By 2012, the trial period expired,
and users were lim-
ited to ten hours of music
each month and five-song
replays. By March of 2012, Spotify
removed all limits
and introduced its free ad-supported
tier.
In 2014, Spotify pushed its
two-sided business
model by offering a free
ad-supported service to
attract new users
with the goal of converting
them
into paid subscribers.
The company was able to con
vert 10 million users
to premium subscribers
from its
approximately 40
million active users. At
about the
same time, music artist Taylor
Swift pulled her music
off Spotify, claiming a rapid
decline in sales.
her music back on the platform. Jay Z, a ip-hop
music mogul, also claimed unfair compensation to
artists and launched Tidal in 2016 as his own music
platform, becoming Spotify’s competitor. Other art
ists who kept their music off Spotify included The
Beatles, Adele, and Pink Floyd.
By March of 2011, Spotify had a customer base
of I million paid subscribers across Europe, and
by the end of September of 2011, the number had
doubled. By August of 2012, the company reported
15 million active users, of which 4 million were paid
subscribers. By 2013, the company reported 20 million
active users with one million customers in
the
United States. The growth for Spotify has been expo-
nential year after year reaching 286 million users,
this
includes 130 million subscribers across 79 markets,
with 50+ million tracks, I million+ podcast titles,
and
4 billion+ playlists as of March 2020.
IPOs Are Too Expensive
and Cumbersome
On February 28, 2018, Spotify
filed a Direct Public
Offering with the SEC. Barry
McCarthy, Chief
Financial Officer of Spotify, stated
in an interview
with the Financial Times
that the company opted
for a Direct Public Offering (DPO),
also known as
a direct listing instead of
an IP0 because “the U.S.
initial public offering market is
broken.” A DPO is a
way for companies
to become public without
a bank
backed initial public offering. Spotify
opted for what
they called a
free-market approach by selling
shares
directly to the public
without paying an
underwriter.
The financial benefits
for Spotify were savings
in
underwriter fees and avoiding the
IPO discount.
In 2017, the company
announced expan-
sion plans to move to
the United States in
lower
Manhattan, New York City,
adding approximately
1,000 jobs. In
November 2018, Spotify
announced a poy
nas strengthened
their competitive positior
Growth through Acquisitions
Spotify has strengthened
their competitive positiorm
through a series of targeted
and timely acquisitions-
Each acquisition has
resulted in a stronger competi
tive position and new
market opportunities. A lis
of Spotify’s acquisitions
between 2013 and 2020 arn
presented in Exhibit 1.
total of 13 new
markets in the MENA region (the
Middle East and
North Africa), including
a new
Arabic hub and
several playlists.
Spotify’s
success has also
seen a few bumps
along the way.
Taylor Swift
was one of the first
art-
ists to speak
out against the
company and its
unfair
compensation
to artists, calling
the music platform
an
“experiment.”
Three years later, the
feud between
Spotify and
Taylor Swift ended,
and the artist put
2014-2016. In March 2014, Spotify
acquired Th
Echo Nest. The Echo Nest
was a music intelligene
and data platform for developers
and media compa
ies. The company developed
and personalized
mus
PART 2 Co, til atit! lij Stuiitegy
rowdAlbum weail.i erhance
and tighten
nection bctwee
EXHIBIT 1 Spotify’s Acquisitions
is and
their fans.
In 2016,
polly acquircd Cord Projec #nd
Soundwave,
tnese
COmpanies focused on nessaging
and sharing.
1hese
cquisilions would allow
users to share
new musi
DUild profiles, and message
friends and
folloWers
wilhout lcaving the Spotify app.
Preact was
the 1ast
cquisition of 2016. Preact was acquired
to find trends
and behavior patterns through machine
learning and
analytics to grow the premium
customer base.
between 2013 and 2020
Company Year Gompany Buslnes
Tunigo 2013 Users tind, create, and slhare
music and playlists.
The Echo 2014 Music intelligence and data
platform company develops
music applications.
Nest
Seed 2015 Data science consulting firm
2017. In March 2017, Spotify acquired
Sonalytic.
Sonalytic was an audio detection
technology that
identified songs, mixed content, and
audio clips and
tracked copyright-protected materials. This
acquisition
improved the company’s personalized playlists
and the
company’s publishing data system. MightyTV
was a
startup company focusing on video
recommenda
tions. The company was acquired and shut
down. As
part of the deal, MightyTV’s founder and CEO
Brian
Adams became Spotify’s VP of Technology,
focus-
ing on marketing and advertising. In the same year,
Spotify acquired MediaChain, a startup that focused
on leveraging blockchain technology. The goal for
this company was to develop technology to connect
artists and other rights holders with the tracks hosted
on Spotify’s service. Niland was Spotify’s fourth acqui-
sition of 2017. Niland was an A.l. company focused
on providing personalized recommendations for
users. SoundTrap, an online music studio startup, was
Spotify’s last acquisition of 2017. SoundTrap, was the
maker of the freemium (paid and free) cloud-based,
collaborative music podcast recording studio. Spotifyy’s
plans for the company were to assist artists by using its
platform, including offering rea-time streaming data
through a mobile app.
Scientific
Company collects photos and
videos of performances.
Crowd Album 2015
Cord Project 2016 Social messaging and sharing
2016 Social app focused on finding
and sharing music
Soundwave
Preact 2016 Cloud-based service focused
on helping companies
acquire and retain
subscribers.
Sonalytic 2017 Audio detection technology
company
MightyTV 2017 Company provides video
recommendations
MediaChain 2017 Company focused on
leveraging blockchain
technology to solve problemns
Labs
with attribution.
Niland 2017 Company provides search
and recommendation options
for music.
Soundtrap 17 Online Music Studio
Loudr 2018 A music licensing platform
Gimlet 2019 Podcast Network
Parcast 2019 Podcast Network
Anchor 2019 Podcast Network
SoundBetter 2019 Music and Audio production
2018-2019. In 2018, Spotify acquired Loudr, a
music licensing platform that built products and ser
vices for content creators and digital music servicesto identify, track, and pay royalties to music publishers providing a more transparent and efficient musicpublishing industry. In 2019, Spotify acquired the Dodcast networks Gimlet Media and Anchor FM Inc..establishing itself as a significant player in podcast-ing, Gimlet added its best-in-class podcast studio, pro- ction, and advertising capabilities. Anchor added its platform of tools for podcast creators. Later that ar, Spotify also acquired Parcast, a podcast that spe- cializes in crime, mystery, and Science fiction shows. Parcast added its curated library of highly produced
and collaboration
marketplace.
The Ringer 2020 Sports and Entertainment
Podcast
Source: Businesswire-https://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/
home.
applications. In June 2015, Spotify also acquired
Seed Scientific, a data science consulting firm, to
lead an advanced analytics unit within the company.
CrowdAlbum, a startup that collected photos and
videos of performances and shared them on social
media, was acquired in 2016. The work created by
C-115
CASE 9 Spotty in 2020: Can eionpaiy Remain Competitive?
cuture content. The addition of The Ringer expanded Spotify’s content offering and audience reach. This
acquisition is one more example of Spotify’s growth
strategy.
shows and its loyal audiences. To round off the year, the company acquired SoundBetter, a music production marketplace where people in the music indusiry collaborate on projects and distribute music tracksfor licensing. SoundBetter brought with it a strongreputation and committment to support all cre Growth through Partnerships ators worldwide; the company joined Spotify with
Spotify’s Partnerships have also strengthened the com
180,000 registered users in 176 countries.
2020. Spotify’s latest acquisition was Bill Simmon’s The Ringer in February 2020. The Ringer was a creator of sports, entertainment, and pop
pany’s competitive position by expanding its market
access and strategic collaborations mostly through bundling of services. A list of Spotify’s partnerships between 2011 and 2020 are presented in Exhibit 2. EXHIBIT 2 Spotify’s Partnerships between 2011-2020
Company Year Company Collaboration Scope
2011 Integrated into the Facebook page, users can listen simultaneously with friends.2011 Leading mobile discovery company
Facebook
Shazam
SoundHound 2011 Sound and discovery search companyCoca-Cola 2012 Global partnership to share music with consumers around the world.Harman 2014 Premium global audio and Infotainment group.BandPage 2014 Artists and groups engage directly with fans Sony 2015 Added to Sony PlayStation 3& 4 and Xperia Consoles Starbucks 2015 Integrated into Starbucks App Uber
2014 Riders can listen to their playlists while riding in an Uber Adidas 2015 Integrated into the Adidas Go app where streaming music was fused with fitness metrics.
Tencent 2017 Spotify and Tencent acquired shares from each otherMicrosoft 2017 Provide access to streaming music South by Southwest 2017 Access to SXSW genre-specific curated playlists on Spotify hub
Waze 2017 Users can access Spotify playlists from Waze navigation
WNYC Studios
2017 Podcast available through Spotify Discord 2018 Users can highlight and share music Hulu 2018 Premium bundle of music and TV Ellen DeGeneres 2018 Create opportunities for undiscovered talent Samsung 2019 Spotify preinstalled in new Samsung devices AT&T 2019 Collaboration allows AT&T Unlimited & More customers to choose Spotify Premium as
an entertainment option.
Xbox
2019 Spotify can be played in the background while playing videogames
Bouygues Telecom
In France, Spotify and Bouygues offered a six month free trial for customers of Bouygues
2019
Magalu Conecta 2019 Brazilian customers of Magalu Conecta were offered a free four-month trial of
Spotify premium.Vodafone 2019 Eligible Vodafone Australian users received a free 30-day trial of Spotify premium
added to their mobile plan.Disney 2019 Disney Playlists on Spotify aimed at boosting family memberships
ESPN
2020 Spotify created music and podcast playlists for viewers to watch after The Last Dance
docuseries of former Chicago Bulls player Michael Jordan.
The Joe Rogan
Experience
2020 Popular podcasts in diverse topics such as neuroscience, sports, comedy, health, and
ever-changing culture.
Source: Various Spotify press releases.
https://www.businesswire.com/portal/sita(l
C-116 PART 2 Casos i Kaiidcxeulin1 Strategy
Cach other. Tencent operated the largest
social media
platform in China and providei an
extensive cataiog
Of music services to hundreds of millions
of users.
2014-2015. Spotily’s partnership with Uber started
in 2014. Riders were allowed to control the driver’s
sound system by connecting to their Spotify accounts
and streaming their tunes while riding in an Uber.In
2017. Spotify considered ending its partnership with
Uber after mounting scandals concerning Uber’s CEO.
Also, in 2014. Spotify joined forces with the musician
profile service BandPage so artists and groups could
engage more directly with their fans and offer concert
tickets, merchandise, and VIP experiences.
In January 2015, Sony announced a new plat
form, Play Station Music, a new music service with
Spotify as an exclusive partner. With this partner-
ship. Spotify was included into Sony’s PlayStation 3
and PlayStation 4 gaming consoles and Sony Xperia
devices. The platform was introduced in 41 markets
around the world. This partnership allowed subscrib-
2018. In April 2018, Spotify partnered
with the
gaming-oriented voice chat service
Discord to be dis-
played on desktop clients. This partnership
allowed
users to display their currently-playing
songs as a
presence on their profile and invite other premium
Spotify users to group “listening parties”.
In April of the same year, Spotify and
Hulu
announced a partnership. The two companies bun
dled their services and offered them through a single
subscription plan of $12.99-a-month bundle.
This
partnership was the first time Spotify partnered
with
streaming TV platform, and it came at a time
when
the company was rethinking its video offerings.
With
Tom Calderone, head of video and podcasts, depart
ing the company, Spotify decided to focus on expand-
ing video offerings on Spotify playlists. In August
2018, the company introduced an upgraded Spotity
Premium for Students plan bundled with Hulu’s
streaming library and SHOWTIME’s premium enter
tainment content for $4.99.
ers the convenience to link their accounts between
PlayStation and Spotify, or sign up and subscribe.
In the same year, Spotify also partnered with
Starbucks and was integrated into the Starbucks app.
The Starbucks and Spotify partnership encouraged
active participation among members who could cre-
ate their own in-store playlists. Spotify and adidas
also formed a strategic partnership to create a pre
mium app called Adidas go that tracked running met-
rics and selected music based on running speed. At
the time, the app introduced a 7-day trial period to
Spotify Premium with the goal to convert runners to
premium subscriberTs.
2017. In March 2017, Spotify partnered with South
by Southwest (SXSW). Users were able to access
SXSW genre-specific curated playlists on Spotify
SXSW 2017 hub in “browse” on desktop and mobile
devices as well as the SXSW Go App. Two more
partnerships were announced in March, one with
WNYC Studios and one with Waze. WNYC was
the most listened to public radio station and mother
station for podcasts like Radiolab, Studio 360, and
Freakonomics. Waze was a navigation app that
allows users to access Spotify playlists from its app.
In October of the same year, Microsoft and Spotify
entered into a new partnership. Microsoft ended its
collaboration with Groove allowing subscribers to
move their playlists and music collections to Spotify.
This partnership allowed Spotify to be downloaded to
Windows for P.C., including Xbox gaming consoles.
In December 2017, Spotify and China-based
Tencent agreed to partner by acquiring shares from
2019. A groundbreaking partnership was that of
Spotify with Ellen DeGeneres in late 2019. Ellen
DeGeneres is known for not only loving music
but also for creating opportunities for new tal-
ent. This partnership expanded these opportun-
ities and tapped into new markets. Also, in 2019,
Spotify and Samsung announced the expansion of
their collaboration. Samsung provided users with
access to Spotify on Samsung mobile devices, and
all new Samsung mobile devices globally would
include the Spotify app preinstalled. The new devices included the Galaxy S10, S10+, S10e S10 SG. Galaxy Fold, and select Galaxy A series. Eligible Samsung owners qualified for six months of free Spotify Premium. Following this partnership, Spotify and AT&T teamed up in a new relationship that allowed AT&T Unlimited &More PremiumWireless customers to choose Spotify Premium as their entertainment option, initially in a trial periodand afterward at a rate of $9.99.In 2019, Spotify als0 entered into four globalpartnerships; the first was with Xbox. Xbox and Spotify teamed up to deliver value in gaming and music. Spotify offered gamers in the United States
and United Kingdom who joined Xbox Game Pass
Ultimate or Xbox Game Pass for P.C. (Beta) for the
C-117
CASE 9 Spotify in 2020: Can the Company Reman ipetitive?
use of artificial inteligence and machine learning
algorithms has beer a driving force behind the com-
pany’s success.
It all began in 2012 with the company’s “Discover”
feature, which started as a playlist of a user’s favor
ite artists and soon became a sort of recommenda-
first time a six months trial of Spotify premium. The
company also entered into partnerships with French
company Bouygues Telecom Broadband com
pany: customers on mobile tariffs of > 1GB could
add Spotify Premium to their existing mobile plan.
A second partnership included Brazilian Magalu
Conecta, a country top retailer that offered technical
Support, cloud storage, phone protection, and Wi-Fi
spots; customers received a free four-month Spotify
Premium trial. The last global partnership was with
Vodafone, Australian largest mobile network; custom-
ers received a free 30day trial of Spotify Premium.
To boost family membership, Spotify and Disney
entered into a partnership that would create a Disney
Hub with Disney playlists with liked soundtracks
from Disney, Pixar, and Marvel movies, Star Wars
instrumentals, classics, sing-alongs, and more.
tion engine. In 2019, Spotify updated to “Discover
Weekly,” a feature that creates custom playlists
unique to each listener’s activity, which is curated by
machine learning algorithms. The algorithm further
analyzes other users’ playlists to find common music
themes and use that information to develop new play-
lists. Users also have a “taste profile” of microgenres
that are used to further customize playlists. It is not
only about what music users listen to, it is about the
user’s interaction with the song. Spotify’s program is
able to recognize if a user changes the track within
30 seconds giving it a thumbs down and removing it
from the playlist, or, if a user adds a song to a playlist
and listens to the entire song, the song is aligned with
the “user’s taste,” a factor that helps the algorithm
develop the user’s overall taste profile.
Aside from “Discover Weekly,” Spotify also uses
a function called “Daily Mixes,” these are playlists
separated by genres that the user gravitated towards
and includes songs the user either saved or added to
a playlist, are written by the same artist, or are from
new artists or albums the user does not know of yet.
Spotify algorithms change the songs of these playlists
as well as introduce a few extra new songs.
Not only does Spotify use analytics to under-
stand a user’s music tastes, they also use data to
improve customer experiences. The data generated
by consumers is used for ad campaigns and to bet-
ter target consumers. The company uses what they
have learned from users to develop ads that strategic-
ally target an ideal audience. The company has seen
the impact of using listener data to develop ad cam-
paigns that increase their sales and user engagement.
Some examples of successful ad campaigns include
a display ad in Williamsburg, New York, where the
company used listening history to develop funny ads,
the first ad, read “Sorry, Not Sorry Williamsburg, Bieber’s hit trended highest in this zip code.” This ad
was displayed in a “hipster area” known for its notori- ously high concentration of music snobs. Some pop ular campaigns included holiday ads, a set of 2018 Goal ads, and a set of “meme-inspired” ads.
As of April 2018, Spotify announced that free
users would have access to explore 15 of Spotify’s
2020. On May 1, 2020, Spotify, ESPN, and Netflix
teamed up to curate podcasts around Netflix’s The
Last Dance docuseries of former Chicago Bulls
player Michael Jordan. The partnership built on
every brand’s respective strengths, and for Spotify, it
was on content curation and playlists. Spotify’s latest
partnership was with “The Joe Rogan Experience,” a
podcast with a loyal and engaged fanbase around the
world. The podcast debuted on September 1, 2020.
The many strategic acquisitions and partnerships
Spotify formed strengthen the company’s competitive
position as the most significant and leading music
streaming global platform. Through market penetra
tion, the company has been able to grow its number
of users. Economies of scale are evident as new users
and artists are added. Product development is also
part of Spotify’s growth strategy and can be seen in
the latest acquisitions of Podcast companies.
Spotify’s use of Big Data
Spotify is continuously looking for new “habits in
their streaming intelligence” to learn more about
how people stream. The company calls this “under-
standing people through music.” The company’s
use of innovation and technology creates superior
products and services to meet the growing demand
of existing and potential subscribers. Spotify intro-
duced Spotify.me, a data analytics program to cap-
ture a subscriber’s listening habits. The captured data
allows the company to generate content that users
consider in line with their tastes, creating a unique
user experience, and keeping users engaged. Spotify’s
C-118 PART 2 Cases in Crating and Executing Strategy
most popular playlists. including “RapCaviar” and
“Discover Weekly.” While this was great news for free
users. the company had a data-driven reason behind
this decision. Spotify would now generate data from
the listening habits of over 124 million more users
allowing for bettercustomized experience using data
and algorithms.
Data leads the way to understand trends, and
this includes the music industry. Music streaming
has outranked music purchases, and the only way to
understand how the public is responding to music,
artists, and albums is through the use of data. Spotify
understands this well and continues to focus on
experience through a proprietary
Music Genome
Project and Podcast Genome Project”
Technology
through its mobile app. Pandora experienced
a year-on
year decline in monthly active
users (MAUs)
between
2018 and 2019 of 8.7 percent. According
to the com-
pany’s quarterly financial results,
Pandora has nearly
6.2 million paid subscribers, up
9.5 percent Y/Y.
Pandora offers two tiers, Pandora Plus
and Pandord
premium with discounts for families,
students, and the
military. The free tier is ad-supported
and asks users
to
view video ads, a drawback for many users.
Tidal is a streaming music service
owned by
hip-hop mogul Jay Z. Artist empowerment
is a core
tenant of this platform and was created in
response
to Spotify’s perceived unfair payout
to artists. The
company claims to have
over 60 million trackS
in
lossless audio quality and 250,000
videos. They
offer subscribers exclusive music and videos,
behind
the scenes documentaries, and
events including
live experiences, pre-sales, and ticket giveaways.
As
with most companies, subscribers get a 30-day
free
trial. The company’s subscription tiers include
a pre-
mium family plan, and a student and military plan
at discounted rates. The company also has
HiFi sub-
scription tiers at higher rates. The
number of Tidal
subscribers was not disclosed by the company.
Tidal.
meeting user preferences through unique, differenti
ated services based on what the company has learned
through user data.
Spotify’s Competitors
Apple Music.
is one of Spotify’s biggest rivals, with an extensive
library, human-touch radio, and full integration
into
Apple’s iOS ecosystem. Apple reached
over 60 mil
lion premium subscribers worldwide as of
mid-2019.
The company claims to have over 60
million songs
outdoing contenders such as Amazon
Prime Music
and Jay-Z’s Tidal. With Apple Music, users
can listen
to local radio stations around the world,
download
and stream music to an Apple Watch, enjoy
music
in a car with CarPlay, and ask Siri (Apple’s A.I.)
too
search for songs. Apple offers three subscriptions,
a student, an individual, and a family tier.
Because
Apple does not have a free tier,
other than its initial
3-month free trial, they have secured more
exclusives
Although a newcomer, Apple music
YouTube Music. YouTube Music is a streaming
music service that allows subscribers to find albums,
live performances, and remixes by searching lyrics or
describing songs. Subscribers receive recommenda-
tions based on their tastes and searches. YouTube
premium allows users to listen …




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