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The Band Manifesto

THE SPOTIFY BAND

Here at Spotify, we like to think of ourselves as a band.

Ok, sure, we don’t look a lot like that group you put together in high school that could only play one Led Zeppelin song, but we still think the comparison fits. Like a band, we’re dependent on each other to create the best audio experience. Like a band, we need to be in sync. And like any successful band, we have a set of rules – a band manifesto – that keeps us focused on where we want to go and guides how we get there.

This is that manifesto. It explains our mission, our beliefs, our culture, our values, and everything else in between. Pretty much the only thing it won’t teach you is how to play a new Led Zeppelin song – that’s just something you’re going to have to learn on your own.

OUR MISSION

Spotify is a purpose-driven company, using our strong values and beliefs to guide us in our strategies as well as our everyday decisions.

Our mission is simple:

To unlock the potential of human creativity by giving a million creators the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by it.

How do we get there?

By believing in our talented band members, giving them the support and autonomy they need to create. (And lots of cold brew.)

If you join the band, there are five values with which you’ll quickly become familiar as they form the foundation of Spotify culture. If these values align with your own, if they sound like the kind of people you want to be surrounded by, then come and help us inspire people to listen to the world around them.

OUR VALUES

Our values are informed and influenced by every member of the Spotify band. For us, these are more than just words on a page – these principles guide each decision we make, serving as the path we’ll follow to achieve our goals and mission.

These values help us build trust with our users, creators, advertisers, partners, and even amongst ourselves.

They ensure that we are the same company that stands for the same things no matter our audience.

Innovative

We move fast and take big risks. We cultivate curiosity. We’re unafraid to fail, knowing that each mistake contains a valuable lesson and gets us one step closer towards creativity and innovation.

Sincere

We have no time for internal politics. We lead with transparency and engage with open minds. Creating something new requires trust so candid feedback delivered with good intent is at the heart of everything we do.

Passionate

We revel in what we do. We genuinely care about our shared Spotify mission, pushing ourselves to become masters of the part we play. We energize and inspire others around us, knowing that excitement drives innovation.

Collaborative

We recognize that we’re all in this together. Everyone is an integral part of the work we do with an equal opportunity to participate – we share ideas and best practices across business units and in spite of traditional hierarchies.

Playful

With all that said, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We connect with each other. We celebrate successes. And just like a real band, we like to jam.

Making some noise

We’ve made it our business to make some noise. We’re not content to sit idly by and wait for others to forge new paths – we want to learn faster than the world around us is changing. In short, change is our constant.

We’re dedicated to relentless innovation, ensuring our technology stays relevant, easy to use, and easy to scale.

The Spotify rhythm

We believe that speed of iteration beats quality of iteration, which is why we’re not big on bureaucracy. To us, complicated processes and guidelines can kill innovation. We’d rather just stay focused and prioritize ruthlessly. (It’s kind of like your personal To-Do list, just on steroids.)

And in the spirit of transparency, we’ll admit that being process-light sometimes invites a little bit of chaos into our everyday. We embrace it. A little bit of chaos forces you to think in new ways, break out of your old patterns. It keeps us fast, focused, and inventive.

Working fast means acting with consent, not consensus. Even if the majority can’t come to an agreement, it’s important to keep moving, take a chance, and execute. As long as we’re always making grounded and informed decisions, we shouldn’t be afraid to make a bet. Because here, getting ideas out into the world takes precedence.

Dream big, act fast

We believe in maintaining that relentlessly resourceful start-up spirit.

Complacency is our enemy – we take smart risks and set the bar high as we continually think, build, ship, and tweak. We strive to stay receptive and flexible, adapting and acting on what we observe. We work hard to find the best way to get things done, even if it’s not the most obvious way. And then we do it again and again.

The beat goes on

When we win, we celebrate the success together. When we fail, we celebrate the new valuable information that we learned.

Failure is an important part of our process. It’s the best indication that we’re trying something new, that we’re reaching for what’s next. And an undesirable outcome doesn’t mean that the wrong decision was made — it means we took an informed risk, as you must when pursuing innovation. If it worked, we would’ve won big. If it didn’t, that’s ok. We move on, keep trying, and give each other the freedom to fail again. We don’t fear mistakes but we refuse to repeat them.

This extraordinary rhythm requires extraordinary people. We seek those who have the creativity to discover, the accountability to deliver, and the courage to embrace complexity as well as polarity. Being part of the Spotify band means staying passionate, nurturing your curiosity, and welcoming (and oftentimes even driving) change.

JOINING THE BAND

Ideas drive us, not bureaucracy.

Typical corporate career paths with ladders, hierarchies, and bureaucracy? That just isn’t our way. We don’t believe in up or out. We don’t believe in rest and vest. We want to give you the opportunity to grow with us. Neither your career nor Spotify is a sprint – they’re both marathons.

The best people in their field may not be the best people for our band. We put an emphasis on finding the right people every time, rather than just recruiting the rock stars. In our hiring process, we look for three essential factors: adaptability, ability, and drive. We’ve discovered that great performances come from the right people, all working collaboratively toward a shared goal. As a team, we are our mission.

Who you are

Our band is dependent on all of its members to give and get the full experience. We rely on you to help bring our values to life in real time, to discuss them openly with your team and work together to integrate them into your process.

If you join Spotify, we expect you to care – about your work, about Spotify, about the success of the entire band. You should take ownership for the work you do and take pride in what you deliver, both individually and as a team.

If you join Spotify, we expect you to grow. Growth is our mantra, both for Spotify and for our people. The two go hand in hand. You should be self-driven, ready to take control of your own development and reach your full potential.

We can’t guarantee that you’ll get a promotion and a new title every six months but we can help you design your future. So you should be ready to expand your skills and learn new ones. You should want to make conscious and deliberate decisions about what your journey will be. If you join Spotify, we expect you to nurture collaboration and just, well, be nice. Remember: listening is everything. In our band, there’s no room for entitled egos.

Playing in sync

So – no egos. Got that. But what else goes into “being nice”? Well, we treat all of our colleagues, users, creators, and partners with respect. We assume good intent and work hard to achieve mutual understanding. We recognize that we all bring our own unique perspectives to the table and that with those perspectives may come some unconscious biases. So while we have the confidence to voice our opinions, we also have the humility to listen and learn from others.

Here at Spotify, we’re dedicated to fostering a workplace free from discrimination and a culture built on the principle of inclusion.

We strongly believe that a diversity of experience, perspectives, and backgrounds will lead to a better environment for our employees and a better product for our users and creators. Think about it – without a diversity of instruments, a band’s output would be pretty boring. (There’s a reason why your favorite band isn’t just five tubas playing at once.) Music is global and so Spotify should be too.

We believe in an inclusive culture where everyone feels empowered to share their full selves, where everyone feels like they belong.

A culture where innovative, passionate, and playful people can grow, have fun, and do their best work. A culture that develops and deepens with every new team member but always stays true to our core values.

Leading the band

The foremost thing we look for in our managers is the willingness and courage to lead. Leaders at Spotify need to be brave as well as resilient and adaptable. They need to build healthy teams, work from a sustainable mindset, and – most importantly – hold themselves accountable.

When you lead with purpose, engagement and drive follow.

But we don’t hire highly competent people to have them micro-managed. We use constant planning and one-on-ones to open communication channels rather than admin-heavy, time consuming, template-driven appraisal talks. We believe that it isn’t our responsibility to manage talent – we’re here to develop talent.

“We have no patience for entitled egos.”

– Daniel Ek, CEO

The Encore

Values

are innovative, sincere, passionate, collaborative and playful.

Culture

is informed and influenced by every member of the Spotify Band.

Change

is our constant.

Growth

is our mantra.

Audio is global

and Spotify should be too.

Ideas drive us

not bureaucracy.

“Welcome to controlled chaos.”

– Katarina Berg, Chief HR Officer