Spotify is an online music service offering instant access to over 16 million licensed songs. The application is available for Windows and Mac OS operating systems, as well as multiple mobile device platforms. Spotify users can choose between a free, ad-supported version and a monthly subscription that allows users to enjoy music without ads on a wide range of mobile devices. Both options allow users to enjoy instant access to one of the world’s biggest music libraries, and to enjoy, discover and share music on a number of different social platforms, including Facebook.

Because the company’s goal is to help people listen to whatever music they want, whenever they want, wherever they want, Spotify faces the perpetual challenge of cataloging not only yesterday and today’s popular tracks, but also all those to be released in the future. Spotify adds over 20,000 tracks a day to its catalogue.

Emil Fredriksson, operations director for Spotify, explains, “Spotify needed a storage solution that could scale very quickly without incurring long lead times for upgrades. This led us to cloud storage, and in that market, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is the most mature large-scale product. Amazon S3 gives us confidence in our ability to expand storage quickly while also providing high data durability.”

The company created Python-based backend systems to interact with its huge volume of content in Amazon S3. In addition, Amazon CloudFront delivers the Spotify application and software updates to users.

Just as music trends perpetually change, Amazon Web Services (AWS) helps Spotify continuously evaluate its infrastructure in order to meet evolving business goals. Fredriksson notes, “By removing the restrictions incurred by in-house solutions, we enabled much faster development and deployment cycles.”

As part of this evaluation, the company frequently examines the possibility of integrating new services into its existing AWS feature stack. Based on this practice, Fredriksson reminds other technical decision makers that resource utilization can be unpredictable. He explains, “Consequently it is very important to design your systems so that they can react to variations in performance and compensate with scaling.”

Spotify is taking its own advice to maintain a highly responsive system. While establishing new storage previously required several months of preparation, it can now be obtained instantly through AWS. While the company cannot always predict the next overnight music sensation, its infrastructure can spontaneously adjust to any alterations in user demand.

Fredriksson, says, “The ability to go from a system architecture design and capacity requirements to an online and working production system in very little time is fantastic. We are very much aware of the work and lengthy preparation involved in provisioning capacity, whether it is storage, servers, or networks. Therefore, we understand how valuable it is to be able to reduce all of that to an AWS API call.”

To learn more about how AWS can help your storage needs, visit our Amazon S3 details page: http://aws.amazon.com/s3/.