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Spotify to Hire 130 Engineers, Expand Presence in NYC

images-3As part of New York City’s continued effort to invest in Silicon Alley and create tech jobs, Mayor Bloomberg joined Spotify today to announce their plan to hire 130 new engineers by 2014. This would bump the streaming music giant’s tech staff count to 200 and put the majority of its engineers in New York City.

“Spotify’s decision to expand and grow here in New York City along with its plan to hire 130 engineers underscores the reasons why we’ve made such a strong push to increase the ability for students to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Bloomberg in a release.

Spotify, which was founded five years ago in Sweden by FORBES 30 Under 30 member Daniel Ek, has since been responsible for providing more than $500 million to music rights holders and building an audience of more than 10 million users, 25 percent of which are paid subscribers. Though currently headquartered in Stockholm, Spotify will soon be building a new Flatiron headquarters to accommodate the staff increase, which will be several times the size of its current office and the largest Spotify office outside of Sweden.

“Right now, the environment is such that we really can increase our number of engineers by this much,” said spokesperson Graham James. “We hope New York City can become the tech hub for the entire company.”

Spotify is a music-streaming service with a catalog of more than 20 million songs, as well as artist-specific radio stations and integration with iTunes. A free version is available but includes a listening limit and intermittent advertising. Spotify’s subscription service allows unlimited radio skips, setting it a notch above competitors like Pandora and

New players are entering into the mix, however. Microsoft  recently announced its launch of Xbox Music’s web client, making it a clear competitor with 30 million song offerings (there’s also a limited free version of the service). But Xbox Music can only be used on some Microsoft devices. Apple is also joining the ranks with its announcement of iTunes Radio, expected to do serious damage to competition when launched this fall. The supposed patent for iTunes Radio, initially filed in 2011, was released to the public today, revealing features that could revolutionize online radio.

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