Spotify application
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Soundtrack for the world

More than a decade after Apple’s iPod first put thousands of songs in your pocket, music-streaming service Spotify stuffs over 35 million of them there. And despite increasingly fierce competition from behemoths like Apple and Amazon, each of which now offers a rival service, Spotify is thriving. That’s in part thanks to its eerily accurate personalized playlists, its availability across a wide variety of devices, and smart subscription offerings, like a plan that bundles its music with access to TV streaming service Hulu. Spotify’s stock is up 20% since going public on the New York Stock Exchange in April, while more than 83 million subscribers now pay around $10 per month for its Premium service, which offers unlimited, ad-free music streaming, offline listening and other benefits. Spotify has been criticized by some for failing to adequately compensate artists and going overboard when it comes to promoting major musicians, but supporters say the company is making music more accessible, helping new artists find an audience and bringing much-needed changes to the entertainment industry. It’s now doubling down with original podcasts like Dissect, a deep dive into individual albums, while further disrupting the music industry through exclusivity deals cut directly with artists—from major acts like Drake to up-and-coming indie musicians. —Patrick Austin

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