Spotify is looking forward to a “Googley future” – but before you fall off your chair in shock, this isn’t about the internet giant acquiring the streaming service. It’s about infrastructure.
“Today we are announcing that we’re working with the Google Cloud Platform team to provide platform infrastructure for Spotify, everywhere,”wrote Spotify’s VP of engineering and infrastructure Nicholas Harteau in a blog post.
“Historically, we’ve taken a traditional approach to doing this: buying or leasing data-center space, server hardware and networking gear as close to our customers as possible. This approach has allowed us to give you music instantly, wherever you are in the world.”
“But in a business growing quickly in users, markets and features, keeping pace with scaling demands requires ever increasing amounts of focus and effort. Like good, lazy engineers, we occasionally asked ourselves: do we really need to do all this stuff?”
(Note: remember the days when Spotify used peer-to-peer technology to deliver its music?)
Spotify has been testing Google’s cloud infrastructure with 200,000 of its users, and is now beginning the much bigger shift across of the other 100(ish) million.
“What really tipped the scales towards Google for us, however, has been our experience with Google’s data platform and tools. Good infrastructure isn’t just about keeping things up and running, it’s about making all of our teams more efficient and more effective, and Google’s data stack does that for us in spades,” wrote Harteau.
So not an acquisition, but in its own way just as important an aspect of the modern streaming landscape. As Spotify caters to millions more users and moves into areas like video, the strains and stresses on its infrastructure will only increase.
Avoiding future ‘Spotify is down’ headlines will be high on its operational priorities. But the partnership could also fuel what’s emerging as the heart of Spotify’s business: digging deep into its big data to understand its users and provide better recommendations.
Google’s BigQuery is *da bomb* – I can start with 2.2Billion ‘things’ and compute/summarize down to 20K in < 1 min. pic.twitter.com/uZd9qMPhiV
— Paul Lamere (@plamere) February 23, 2016