The Hidden Pub/Sub of Spotify (Industry Article)

by Vinay Setty, Gunnar Kreitz, Roman Vitenberg, Maarten van Steen, Guido Urdaneta, and Staffan Gimåker

Published in ACM International Conference on Distributed Event-Based Systems (DEBS) 2013


Spotify is a peer-assisted music streaming service that has gained worldwide popularity. Apart from providing instant access to over 20 million music tracks, Spotify also enhances its users’ music experience by providing various features for social interaction. These are realized by a system using the widely-adopted pub/sub paradigm. In this paper we pro- vide an interesting case study of a hybrid pub/sub system designed for real-time as well as offline notifications for Spo- tify users. We firstly describe a multitude of use cases where pub/sub is applied. Secondly, we study the design of its pub/sub system used for matching, disseminating and per- sisting billions of publications every day. Finally, we study pub/sub traffic collected from the production system, derive characterizations of the pub/sub workload, and show some interesting findings and trends.