It is developed by startup Spotify AB in Stockholm, Sweden.
It provides DRM–protected content from record labels and media companies.
In May 2016, Spotify announced "Sponsored Playlists", a monetization opportunity in which brands are able to specify the audiences they have in mind, with Spotify matching the marketer with suitable music in a playlist.
In June 2017, as part of renegotiated licenses with Universal Music Group and Merlin Network, Spotify's financial filings revealed its agreement to pay more than billion in minimum payments over the next two years.
It is available for most modern devices, including Windows, mac OS, and Linux computers, as well as i OS, Windows Phone and Android smartphones and tablets.
Music can be browsed through or searched for by parameters such as artist, album, genre, playlist, or record label.
The company was, according to Tech Crunch, planning to launch on the stock market in 2017, but is instead planning on doing the IPO in 2018 in order to "build up a better balance sheet and work on shifting its business model to improve its margins".
For example, in Norway, the figure of 1.2 billion unauthorized song downloads in 2008 is compared to a figure of 210 million from 2012.
BBC Music Week editor Tim Ingham wrote: "Unlike buying a CD or download, streaming is not a one-off payment.
Hundreds of millions of streams of tracks are happening each and every day, which quickly multiplies the potential revenues on offer – and is a constant long-term source of income for artists." In March 2014, Spotify introduced a new, discounted Premium subscription tier for active students.
Students in the United States enrolled in a university can pay half-price for a Premium subscription.