Our Band Manifesto

The Spotify Way

Over the past year or so we have come to a realization: We talk a lot about and refer back to “The Spotify Way,” but we have never truly defined what that is. As a result, others have tried to define it for us, to varying degrees of success. If you search for “Spotify culture” online, you’ll find a series of outdated videos about our agile practices and a selection of news articles written from the outside looking in. We have our own way of doing things, but we have not always done a great job of explaining why that is — or why it matters.

And now, as our company now heads into yet another year of hypergrowth, it has become more important than ever for us to have a clear and common understanding of our culture, our values and what it means to be a Spotifier. It is a big part of what keeps us focused, motivated and happy to come to work every day. So last week, we introduced what we have come to call The Band Manifesto. 

How The Band Manifesto was created

Over several months last year, Daniel Ek (our co-founder and CEO) and I sat down with members of the HR Lead team for a series of “Culture Jam Sessions”. We talked about what kind of company we want to be, how we’ve evolved over time, and what kinds of people we think will thrive here. We socialized it with band members and then one of my other amazing teams, the Brand + Creative team, helped out to put all our words together and visualize it.

Out of that process came The Band Manifesto, a document that articulates who we are as a company and an employer, and what we are not. We consider this relevant for all Spotifiers – whether they’ve worked here for ten days or ten years. Our hope is that it will feel familiar since our mission hasn’t changed and neither have our values. We involved and gave all band members a voice on our Passion Tour 2014 and we held values workshops on Passion Tour the Encore with our new band members. Still, we hope this will help put words to some of the harder-to-describe aspects of our culture. 

What it is

A mission statement about the Spotify culture, values and beliefs. It’s our declaration of who we are as a company and employer, and what we are not. It’s been massaged in Jam Sessions during 2019 using the double diamond method. It has also been on several referral rounds for input, engagement, and involvement.

What we’ll use it for

To give Spotifiers, candidates, and the rest of the world a clear understanding of our culture, our values and what it means to be a Spotifier. This is us telling the story ourselves since right now there are both videos and external articles out there sometimes defining our culture in ways we don’t agree with or ways in which we no longer work.

This is how we roll

I don’t think any of it will feel foreign to anyone who knows us. This is not a changed course or new values but a very clear statement of things we’ve been saying before, or feeling but never put exact words on. Now we have and here it is: The Band Manifesto


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