Ten years of Spotify: the streaming service celebrates its anniversary in Germany

German listeners have been using Spotify for ten years now. Photo: Spotify


Spotify is probably the best known audio streaming service in the world. The service has also been available in Germany for ten years. These are some of the milestones and best songs of the last decade.

In 2006, Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon founded the company behind Spotify in Sweden. At the time, however, few could have predicted just how successful the audio content streaming service would become. Today the service is probably the best known of its kind in the world and there is a special anniversary coming up: Spotify celebrates its 10th birthday in Germany. The offering, which currently also includes audiobooks and podcasts, began in Germany on March 13, 2012.

Stream music for free

Since 2013, users who have nothing against advertising have streamed music for free even on their smartphone. A year later, the service expanded its offering to include a family subscription and got a new logo and design. In 2015, users then first heard their custom playlist “Your Mix of the Week” and received the first annual “Wrapped” review.

In 2016, Spotify surpassed 100 million monthly active users worldwide. In addition, the first podcast accessible exclusively on the service with “Fest & Flauschig” by Jan Böhmermann and Olli Schulz was launched. In 2018, no podcasts were streamed more frequently on the platform. The hugely popular hip hop playlist “Modus Mio” was added in the same year.

Spotify then introduced a lyrics feature last year. As with Amazon Music or Apple Music, music lovers can now see the lyrics of their favorite songs. According to the streaming service, it currently has 180 million premium paying customers in 184 markets, totaling over 400 million users.

What only a few of these users know: “Spotify” is a portmanteau. The service name consists of the phrases “spot” and “identify”. Even the name was born by chance. During a brainstorming session, Lorentzon overheard a suggestion from his co-founder and Spotify was born. Ek told the Guardian in 2013. But he can no longer remember what the original suggestion was.



The most popular songs in Germany

From the beginning in the spring of 2012 to the end of 2021, German listeners have listened to streaming music a total of around 450 billion times. Among these are the works of over 150,000 German artists and musical groups. And even abroad, the number of streams of German acts has increased significantly, by more than 60 percent in the past five years. And a few weeks ago, a record Christmas followed – on no other day have users streamed more music in this country than on Christmas Eve in 2021.

In addition to the holiday classics, December 24 users have certainly heard some of the best songs of the last decade as well. First place in this category goes to rapper Apache 207 with “Roller”, followed by Tones And I with “Dance Monkey”, The Weeknd with “Blinding Lights”, Ed Sheeran with “Shape of You”, as well as Bonez MC, Maxwell and RAF Camora with “Without My Team”. Music fans can find the remaining 95 songs in the top 100 in the “10 is a party” anniversary playlist. Also included are big names like Billie Eilish, Linkin Park, Camila Cabello, Eminem, Oasis, Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga and Sido.

If you look at the first five songs by purely German-speaking artists, “Roller” and “Ohne mein Team” are ahead of “Was du Liebenannst” by Bausa, “500 PS” by Bonez MC and RAF Camora and “Vermissen” by Juju feat . Henning May As a result, numerous German-speaking artists are among the hottest artists of the past decade. In 2012, Cro was at the top. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis followed in 2013, Kollegah in 2014 and Sheeran another year later. In 2016, Drake left all competitors behind, with Sheeran returning to the top in 2017. RAF Camora led in 2018, while Capital Bra clinched the title in both 2019 and 2020. Bonez MC was particularly popular. Last year.

While the vast majority of streams are likely to come from famous artists, artists and bands don’t have to be known around the world to be able to offer their music on Spotify. In theory, anyone can share their songs with the world through the platform. To do this, however, artists must first look for a distributor who, among other things, takes care of the license. Interested parties can obtain more detailed information via “Spotify for Artists”.

Speaking of podcasts and politics

In addition to music, Spotify also offers over 3.6 million podcasts worldwide; over 70,000 of them in German. In addition to “Fest & Flauschig”, the most popular podcast in Germany from 2016 to 2018, the exclusive hit “Gemischtes Hack” with Felix Lobrecht and Tommi Schmitt was also included from 2019. At the time, the two took the crown as the most listened to podcast in Germany and have not given up ever since. Around 1.3 billion hours of podcast content has been heard in Germany since 2017.

Comedy entertainment tops the list of the most popular genres these days. The areas of society and culture, health and awareness, knowledge and news and politics follow. And it is precisely these current issues that have caused a stir recently when famous artists removed their music from the platform to protest questionable podcast content. But that will likely not detract from Spotify’s success, with a market share of around 32% worldwide, the provider is still the undisputed market leader.

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