February 26, 2016

Why Is Spotify So Amped About the Google Cloud Platform?

By Megan G.

This past Tuesday, uber-popular music app Spotify announced that they are migrating all of their services and data onto the Google Cloud Platform. That’s 2 million playlists, over 30 million songs, the capabilities of their dynamic Discover Weekly feature and all of those user profiles finding a new home in the fluffy GCP.

But why Google? If you have managed to keep up with the ongoing Cloud Wars of the tech industry, you know that praise and partnerships are usually enjoyed by Amazon and Microsoft’s cloud tech. Yet, Spotify has turned to Google and even has gone so far as to say that the tech company’s cloud capabilities are “nearly magical.”

As far as Diane Greene and the rest of the GCP team are concerned, this should come as no surprise.


Google Cloud: From Imaginative Wisps to Solid Business

As we have covered on Tek Shouts! before, Google appointed Diane Greene as the chief of the Google Cloud Platform because of her successful track record of bringing business into cloud tech. Until Greene joined the Google team, the tech world believed that the cloud platform was just another moonshot more than it was a viable business.

However, with Google’s reorganization and rebranding into Alphabet, the company as a whole has made great strides to make every arm of their company a profitable one. Google’s amazing Q4 earnings report is a testament to that. The hire of Diane Greene was just another step by our favorite tech company to foster a practical yet still ambitious side project—this time, their cloud technology.

Before Diane Greene even started her new role as the chief of cloud enterprise, she had tons of nice things to say about what would be her new pet project:

“Google Cloud Platform already offers best of class storage, compute, networking and big data supports, all based on more than a decade of work building Google’s internal cloud…[GCP] is already the best collaboration and productivity suite [on the market].”

As we will see, all of those pretty praises are exactly what drew Spotify to Google’s Cloud—it’s not just a bunch of hot air! 

What Spotify Loves About Their “Googley” Future

Spotify used to buy or rent their own data centers, servers, and networking doohickeys that were in close proximity to their users. This would ensure that the app could provide high quality music, no matter where their listeners happened to be jammin’.

Nowadays, as Spotify VP of Engineering & Infrastructure Nicholas Harteau has asserted on the Spotify News blog, the advancements made in cloud technology have become as equally affordable and effective as their traditional methods of buying up third-party data center space.

“The storage, compute and network services available from cloud providers are as high quality, high performance and low cost as what the traditional approach provides. This makes the move to the cloud a no-brainer for us.”

However, the storage of data isn’t all that has drawn the music app developer to the GCP, but also their data platform and tools that help mimic Google’s culture of collaboration and efficiency.

“Good infrastructure isn’t just about keeping things up and running,” writes Harteau. “It’s about making all of our teams more efficient and more effective.” Google’s sophisticated Cloud Platform has just the features to do that. Before we close, check out the cloud computing tools that have Spotify so jazzed about working in the Google Cloud.
  • Dataproc can easily process big datasets at a low cost.
  • Pub/Sub can do a lot of things, but its ability to quickly distribute event notifications is what Spotify is most excited about. For example, “event notifications” can alert Spotify when new users register.
  • BigQuery is the tool that Spotify calls “near magical.” It provides large-scale data analytics that are fast, affordable, and secure.

To learn more about all of these interesting cloud tools, click on the hyperlinks above! Over the next few months, more and more of Spotify processes will occur on the Google Cloud Platform, which brings me to one last, very important thought.

When Spotify partnered with Starbucks, all Starbucks employees got free Spotify Premium subscriptions…if I have a Gmail account, can I get that high-quality sound, no-ad experience as well? MAKE IT HAPPEN, GOOGLE!


What do you know about cloud technology? Will eventually everything be processed on the cloud? Start the conversation in the comment section below. 

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