You may not be storing much music on your computer or phone anymore, but it’s still taking up a lot disk space somewhere. Spotify has been handling that storage for its 75 million users until now, but it’s turning to the cloud for future.
Today, the streaming music service announced that it will transition its streaming library and infrastructure to Google Cloud Platform over the next 18 months.
Spotify, which started in 2006 when cloud services like Amazon Web Service were just starting, held off on moving to the cloud until some standards had been established. According to an interview with Spotify vice president of engineering Nicholas Harteau in Wired, early cloud services weren’t ready for the kind of tasks Spotify needed.
“For a while, we couldn’t get the quality, the reliability, the price out of cloud services that we needed,” Harteau said.
Getting Spotify on its cloud is a pretty big win for Google. Amazon’s AWS division is seen as a pioneer in providing cloud services to other companies, but Microsoft’s Azure cloud services have also been successful, helping the software maker beat earnings estimates last year.
Google has been trying to position itself as an alternative to its Seattle-area competitors, courting startups and slashing prices to bring companies on board. But Amazon remains the market leader, with $2.4 billion in revenue during Q4 2015.
Spotify’s decision to go with Google may be the biggest get for the search giant yet, but it wasn’t a technical hurdle that finally tipped Spotify toward the cloud—it was a price drop. “Amazon and Google are going at each other pretty hard on pricing,” Harteau told Wired.
Both provided a sound technical backend, and while Harteau wrote the announcement blog post praising Google’s platform and tools, price likely played a big factor.
First step towards acquisition by Google. Also, how much do you want to bet that Google gave it for almost FREE. https://t.co/1U6vPKYkzy
— Om Malik (@om) February 23, 2016
Google, of course, has its own music streaming service, as does Amazon. But getting into Google’s servers may be a sign of Spotify’s streaming strategy fitting in better with Google than with Amazon.
Spotify has already moved a quarter million accounts onto Google’s servers and plans to move its entire, 75-million-strong subscriber base into Google Cloud Platform over the next 18 months.