Happy (Belated) 15th Birthday, Spotify!
Long gone are the days of handing your friends cassette mixtapes or downloading the trendiest songs off of Limewire to use as your ringtone. Now, it is all about the endless libraries of Spotify, ranging from Tchaikovsky’s astonishing piano concertos, to Taylor Swift’s newest releases and even DIY podcasts.
Since its founding on April 23, 2006 in Stockholm, Sweden, Spotify has become a giant of the music industry and changed the way people consume, share, categorize and create music. The streaming company now has over 356 million users, 158 million Spotify Premium subscribers and over 70 million tracks for listeners to access. At the end of each year, users eagerly await for the results of their own, personalized “Spotify Wrapped,” a beloved feature that displays a user’s top artists, genres and podcasts, and even where they statistically rank among an artist’s top listeners.
With the power of algorithms and endless music, Spotify has the ability to suggest a diverse array of artists and genres even for classical music lovers—including the enchanting nocturnes of Chopin to the nostalgic pastorals of Vaughan Williams and the staple preludes of Bach. Spotify offers a mode of listening that is easily “playlist-oriented,” especially since users can conveniently add songs to a custom, creatively-titled playlist at the click of a button. Although the music service offers pre-made daily mixes or “mood” playlists, it also provides carefully crafted “Classical Essentials” playlists alongside user-curated classical selections made for studying, relaxing, exercising and more. Classical music lovers can easily search for their favorite interpretations and performances of orchestral pieces while still being exposed to lesser-known works of contemporary classical music.
As the popularity of on-demand media and streaming services continues to rise, one can only imagine how the world of classical music will adapt next.