Spotify - Large Scale, Low Latency, P2P Music-on-Demand Streaming

by Gunnar Kreitz, Fredrik Niemelš

Published in Proceedings of IEEE P2P'10


Spotify is a music streaming service offering low-latency access to a library of over 8 million music tracks. Streaming is performed by a combination of client-server access and a peer-to-peer protocol. In this paper, we give an overview of the protocol and peer-to-peer architecture used and provide measurements of service performance and user behavior.

The service currently has a user base of over 7 million and has been available in six European countries since October 2008. Data collected indicates that the combination of the client-server and peer-to-peer paradigms can be applied to music streaming with good results. In particular, 8.8% of music data played comes from Spotify's servers while the median playback latency is only 265 ms (including cached tracks). We also discuss the user access patterns observed and how the peer-to-peer network affects the access patterns as they reach the server.