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Spotify jumps ship to Google in cloud war

Spotify has announced that it’s moving some of its infrastructure to Google’s cloud service.

Up to now the world’s biggest music streaming service, Spotify, has been a customer of the world’s biggest cloud server provider, Amazon. But Spotify has just announced that it’s shifting some data previously held on its own in-house systems over to Google Cloud Platform.

Google might be hot stuff in the world of mobile phones and web search, but it comes in a distant third when it comes to cloud computing infrastructure behind Amazon and Microsoft’s Azure. This is a major coup for the big G.

Switching to Google marks a deliberate change in strategy on Spotify’s part. As it explains in a related blog post, the company used to take a hands-on approach to acquiring and managing server space, buying or leasing it as close to its customers as possible.

However, Spotify’s market is scaling ever upward, and the quality of cloud services has increased as well. “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,” says Spotify’s VP of engineering and infrastructure, Nicholas Harteau.

Spotify has come to the conclusion that it no longer wants or needs to manage its own servers, and it reckons that Google has the edge in offering an alternative.

Related: Spotify Video: Is it the next YouTube?

What really swung the deal for Spotify was Google’s data platform and tools. “Good infrastructure isn’t just about keeping things up and running,” says Harteau, “it’s about making all of our teams more efficient and more effective, and Google’s data stack does that for us in spades.”

Of course, Spotify does dangle the incentive to Amazon and co. that “it’s a competitive space and we expect the big players to be battling it out for the foreseeable future.” Let cloud-shaped battle commence. Or rather, continue.


Do you think this was a smart move by Spotify? Let us know in the comments below.

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