Spotify Reviews | Glassdoor

Spotify Reviews

Updated June 13, 2018
276 reviews

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4.0
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Daniel Ek
199 Ratings

276 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "Lots of growing pains as a company driven by a lack of processes and lagging scaling of some of the key resources (mostly the R&D team)" (in 14 reviews)

  • "Gaining weight from all the free food" (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great but may not be for everybody"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Spotify full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Full of smart, personable people. There’s a huge amount of autonomy and self-management for teams and individuals. I don’t know whether this is typical for Swedish companies, but it’s unlike any other company I’ve worked for in the US.

    You’re working for a household name with a great product. Pay is good and benefits are excellent.

    Cons

    The autonomy means that sometimes there’s duplication and sometimes there’s cases of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. Most of the time everything works well, but it’s not always clear how!

    I feel some of my American co-workers find the degree of self-management to be disconcerting. This is not a top-down company and not all can handle that.

    The company is also very dedicated to its values, and takes diversity and inclusion very seriously. If you don’t like the sound of that, don’t apply to work here: you won’t fit in.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you’ve been doing.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Spotify is a great place to grow your career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IOS Developer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - IOS Developer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Spotify full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great company culture and generally great colleagues as well as a great brand and product. It is a transparent and compassionate place to work.

    Cons

    ESOP leave a lot to be desired. Do not pay market value for engineers. Management can sometimes seem wishy washy, reactive and like it’s being made up as we go.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Perks amazing all else a mess"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Spotify full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Free food, private concerts, amazing employee events

    Cons

    Extreme disorganization from top down and high school style favoritism based on "who do I like this week?"

    Advice to Management

    Organize way better. Find much better ways to track employee efforts.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Great on the outside"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Spotify full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Free snacks
    International travel
    Company reputation and draw

    Cons

    No career prospects
    No supervision
    Weak management

    Advice to Management

    Stop all of the humble brags


  5. Helpful (2)

    "The most real company values applied I have ever seen. Does the talk and the walk!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Squad Manager in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Squad Manager in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Spotify full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great working atmosphere
    Exciting and challenging goals
    Culture focused on continous improvement
    Lots of team work, workshops, get together
    Agile culture and ways of working - fast moving
    To have fun is part of the company values

    Cons

    Not a con but a fact: Processes are still being created in some areas (part of maturity growth) and sometimes teams are doing the same thing.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the transparency and living the values in everything you do!


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Nice place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Data Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Data Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Spotify full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good company culture. good 401K match 6%. good PTO 20 days + 3 floating days.

    Cons

    There's work overlap across different teams.

    Advice to Management

    Find more developing space in music industry


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Great place to work, if you're on the right team"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT/Systems in New York, NY
    Former Employee - IT/Systems in New York, NY
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Spotify full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Unlimited supply of food, drinks, snacks
    free healthcare
    work/life balance
    great social events
    cool and diverse group of co-workers

    Cons

    Management focuses on the wrong things. More concerned about people "quotas" then if the actual work is getting done. Hiring is based on these "quotas" rather then just hiring the right person for the job. I'm all about diversity, but when a position that is desperately needed isn't getting filled because the right sex or ethnicity isn't applying and you have a stack of qualified individuals that have applied that's a problem.

    Not enough room for advancement for those that aren't in Stockholm
    They sell you this dream that you can do any projects you want and there's a lot of freedom. That all depends on your team. Definitely the opposite for me. Felt stifled.
    People that have no knowledge about technology are leading technology teams.

    Advice to Management

    Take a closer look at what's going on within each team. Many people are not doing what's best for the company and are doing things to better serve their own interests. Leads having little technology knowledge gives others the opportunity to manipulate them

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Great work culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Spotify full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Never planned on staying here forever, so I enjoyed it for what it was. Work load was challenging enough, but what I loved most was the company culture. Very down to earth, intellectual (some), and fun people to be around. 8/10 would do it again.

    Cons

    I didn't meet Miley Cyrus

    Advice to Management

    Please bring Miley Cyrus


  9. Helpful (17)

    "Good, not great..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Manager
    Current Employee - Product Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Spotify full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Awesome and fun culture where innovation and growth are encouraged
    Free snacks/lunches, seeing your favorite artist in the office, cool offsite trips, etc.
    New employees get a trip to Stockholm to learn about the founding of the company
    "Cool" factor of working for a well recognized brand, and having it on your resume
    Impact - you will likely get to work on something that impacts tons of users, depends on what area of the company you work in

    Cons

    Lack of career growth and clear expectations - middle management is wildly inexperienced and offers little to no guidance on the future of product strategy or employee growth plans.

    Inefficient Meeting culture - a lot of your time is spent attending an endless cycle of pointless meetings. People aren't judged on the quality or performance of the products they ship, but rather on how well you can play to the politics of the company and schedule as many meetings as possible, or write endless amounts of documentation.

    Lacking true meritocracy and accountability - Lots of cases of nepotism, favoritism, and politics run rampant. You can get by without doing much if you know the right people and play the political game.

    Compensation - No bonuses, salary is low for comparable companies and work/life balance can suffer at time due to pressure-cooker environment.

    HR - lackluster hiring process let's really good candidates slip through the cracks since there is no consistent way of evaluating candidates. HR is incredibly disorganized and the onboarding experience can be improved on.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure you address some of the glaring issues that HR is overlooking, otherwise there will likely be high turnover. The company is doing great things because of the employees who care so much about it, so don't let them down.


  10. Helpful (30)

    "Good for entry-level positions. Not so good for experienced engineers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Engineer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Spotify full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The company is a great place to kickstart your career, as it has a good brand and a product that people love.

    It provides a good package for people who are building their families (paternity and maternity leaves are excellent for American standards).

    Engineers are not expected to work too much in general, therefore the company offers a good work-life balance.

    Cons

    Spotify leaves a lot to be desired in a few areas:

    * HR is highly inefficient, and despite its supposedly progressive policies, it rarely aligns with the interest of allowing people to do the best of their work, and mostly serves the purpose of protecting the management of the organization. On the other hand, as far as you never have to deal with HR, they won't get in your way.

    * Interviewing with the company is a true nightmare, both for interviewees and interviewers. Nobody seems to believe the way we interview and handle candidates is efficient at all, but we keep doing the same, while losing good people in the process.

    * The company is surprisingly vertical and hierarchical. Too much power is given to leads and middle managers, to the point that entire structures depend on single managers to exist, and when they leave the company (which happens quite often), their organizations fall apart leaving dozens of people in the limbo.

    * Managers are usually not experienced (being managers for the first or second time in their careers). The incentive for them to be managers is related to the pay grade and visibility, as opposed to what they are actually looking for to grow professionally.

    * Most product owners are failed technical people who want to grow their careers by going vertical, incentivized by the low pay in the engineering side. They frequently believe that they are managers of some sort, and don't really understand what it takes to implement products.

    * It doesn't pay well, scoring in the 70-80% of the market average. This is a major hurdle and stops experienced people to either come, or to stay in the organization. Engineers only afford to be underpaid for a couple years before leaving, and the ones who stay only do so because they are not competitive in the market, or because they are locked in due to stock options or visa constraints. Pay reviews can only happen once a year, through a process that is arbitrary and disconnected from actual performance and workers' market value, as pay raises are capped by HR.

    * From the moment you enter the organization until the day you leave it, you are going to be dragged into an seemingly infinite amount of pointless meetings that will consume at least 50% of your time. That seems to be a fundamental part of the culture in the organization, in which everything has to be agreed and communicated on; except that this is rarely the case as managers keep to themselves what's truly important, and collective decisions are just a way to rubber-stamp decisions that have been already made. Engineers keep pointing out that this is a major issue productivity-wise, but management does nothing to stop it.

    * Engineers are incentivized to prioritize work outside of their teams instead of delivering for their teams due to the way levels and promotions work. This contributes to more meetings, documents, politics and perception-based work as opposed to technical innovation.

    * Do not expect to grow your career at Spotify. You'll stick to your role, level and salary during your stay there. The company truly prefers to hire new people to fill positions (even though most of the time those people have no better experience than existing employees) as opposed to promote their own people. You only have a chance to get somewhere in the organization if you start doing politics from the day you start.

    Advice to Management

    Start the process to rebuild the company as a true engineering organization. Spotify is already feeling like an old and inefficient company. The competition in key markets is aggressive, and while you're being laid back and respecting management nonsense, you're going to be losing ground as your products are not innovating anymore and the strategic plans you hold are way too risky given the level of immaturity in your delivery teams.


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