Spotify: Disrupting the Global Music Industry

Spotify: Disrupting the Global Music Industry
Case Code: BSTR559
Case Length: 24 Pages
Period: 2006-2018
Pub Date: 2019
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.500
Organization: Spotify Technology S.A
Industry: Music Industry
Countries: Sweden, United States, United Kingdom
Themes: Business Model, Innovation
Spotify: Disrupting the Global Music Industry
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


The case "Spotify: Disrupting the Global Music Industry" talks about the disruption brought about by Sweden-based Spotify Technology S.A. (Spotify) in the global music industry. The case starts out by mentioning Spotify's early days as a start-up and the business practices it adopted to monetize music streaming. It also talks about the various aspects of Spotify that disrupted the music industry by not only altering the way people listened to music, but also changing the way artists reached out to fans. The case then describes how Spotify leveraged social media to increase its subscriber base. It goes on to discuss the problems faced by Spotify in accessing the rights to music like royalty payment issues with artists and copyright infringement lawsuits. The case then delves into the way Spotify continued to disrupt the music industry by trying to change the music licensing system. Can Spotify overcome its financial challenges and emerge as a force to reckon with in the global music industry?


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • Understand the importance of innovation in disrupting an industry
  • Analyze the role of a new service in disrupting a well-established industry
  • Appreciate the importance of having the right investors, entering into the right partnerships and alliances, and choosing the right markets for a new service
  • Scrutinize the compulsions, risks, and rewards for a company undertaking market disruption
  • Learn the challenges faced by companies operating in fast evolving, high technology, and people intensive industries
  • Identify the various options available for growth for an emerging company in a developing market



Spotify, Michael Porter's Five Forces Model, Online Business Strategy, Innovation, Business Canvass Model, Market Disruption, E-Business Models, Monetization Models, Freemium, Copyright, Market Positioning, Customer Expectation of Service, Technology Intensive, Mobile App, Music Streaming

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