Decode A Job Posting from Spotify: Senior Product Supervisor — Playlist Platform | by Vladimir Kalmykov | Mar, 2024


Spotify is an modern enterprise that adjustments the encircling actuality: virtually everybody you see on the road or in a café sporting headphones listens to music on Spotify.

If I didn’t have my favourite Linked Journey product at, I’d have responded to such a emptiness myself. Why?

The truth that the entire workforce will solely cope with the one playlist performance means that every little thing shall be very critical. That suggests numerous visitors, inner clients, ultra-optimization of buyer expertise, and, because of this, the necessity to construct a platform and never only a one-time characteristic.

Delivering the most effective Spotify expertise potential. To as many individuals as potential. In as many moments as potential. That’s what the Expertise workforce is all about. We use our deep understanding of client expectations to counterpoint the lives of tens of millions of our customers all around the world, bringing the music and audio they like to the units, apps and platforms they use day-after-day. Know what our customers need? Be a part of us and assist Spotify give it to them.

Sustaining and scaling the Playlist Platform for the big inner buyer base and supporting the playlists of tens of millions of customers.

As you already perceive, the product is a platform to help the center of any streaming music service: Playlists. Right here, an skilled (and considerably technical) product supervisor (PM) sees not only a “checklist of songs” on the iPhone display but additionally an algorithm for selecting their “proper” order, easy and intuitive choices so as to add/take away songs, and auto-generating playlists based mostly on listening historical past and proposals. To not point out storing all this in order that not a single favourite tune is misplaced!

Okay, we undoubtedly want a workforce for that. Who shall be there? The next block solutions:

Collaborate with designers, engineers, researchers and information scientists to establish issues, alternatives and options that may help the wants of our customers and influence our targets / metrics.

This checklist of stakeholders (designers, engineers, information scientists, and many others.) explains that we want not only a “techie” who will monitor technical indicators however a product supervisor who will mix information of the technical world with an understanding of consumers’ needs and predominant firm metrics.

For instance, such PM can discover from the “subsequent button” click on patterns that customers usually take heed to solely 10 sec of the tune earlier than switching to the following, and to deal with that, introduce a brand new platform characteristic, “tune preview. The next requirement re-emphasizes this:

You will have the flexibility to translate technical wants into easy comprehensible necessities and be a translator between tech and design/product and know when to push again.

I want to draw your consideration to the half “translate tech wants into easy, comprehensible necessities.” Nobody wants smarty-pants throwing technical phrases round. Quite the opposite, PMs who can clarify issues in easy phrases (maybe adjusting their explanations for every stakeholder) are valued far more.


Good understanding of tips on how to outline and construct APIs which may be utilized by inner clients of a platform. Capacity to grasp tech structure and techniques and to know when an answer ought to be platformed or not (value/alternative train).

This part, as soon as once more, reminds us of the depth of the issue — playlists are the center (actually) of the entire music expertise. Due to this fact, they see “only one playlist characteristic” as a platform. A tech-savvy PM can now roughly sketch the structure of the appliance:

  • The highest-level options service of the interior clients: predominant software, suggestions service, exterior integrations service (say, music participant in automobiles), audiobooks service, and many others.
  • API contained in the platform: /add_song, /remove_song, /shuffle, /repeat, /enqueue_after, and many others. One can clarify for hours what API is, however it’s higher simply to attempt it your self at this free useful resource.
  • The central “mind” of the platform. It’s chargeable for the playback state: it says which tune the listener is now on and what is going to occur subsequent.
  • A really dependable and fast storage service for all of the playlists. Like, ALL of them. A person usually has anyplace from one to 10 playlists, so with the variety of customers now being 517 million… you do the mathematics.
  • Final, the flexibility to scale all of it for podcasts, dwell streams, and different associated merchandise is but to come back.

I went past and sketched the corporate’s general structure — you’ll be able to see that Playlists Service is just one piece of the massive image.

Simplified structure of the Spotify platform. Shade coding: inexperienced (frontends), gray (backend providers and their APIs), blue (storages), yellow (exterior integrations).

You may ask right here: why ought to PM assume so deeply? A wise firm would wish to rent a PM who can construct it correctly as soon as and for all. That can velocity up the enterprise growth ought to they begin working with different merchandise, corresponding to audiobooks:

Figuring out new alternatives to evolve the platform

Constructing a platform that scales for a lot of purchasers (ubiquity technique)

Make sure the platform is construct on fashionable language and optimized

By the way in which, as is often the case in related vacancies, drawing structure and discussing the nuances will certainly be part of the PM interview. By giving it to you, employers will probe whether or not you see the depth and whether or not you’ll be able to decompose the duty into items.

When you wish to follow this difficult matter, you’ll be able to discover workout routines right here. There are some step-by-step guides on tips on how to construct structure for varied merchandise like Uber, Meals Supply, and even Spotify.

I’ve to say that this information may even be useful in your each day work. As you in all probability guessed, your present product will also be damaged down into items of structure, permitting you to see it inside out, which, in flip, means that you may handle it higher.

Additional, the Spotify emptiness once more provides us a clue that each one this can must be transformed right into a constant technique, and the PM will want to have the ability to defend it in entrance of colleagues:

You will have expertise in contributing, debating and crafting methods

You will have robust writing and debating expertise to participate in strategic discussions

Lastly, this job itemizing mentions two extra “classical” necessities for the place of a Product Supervisor: analytics and A/B experimenting:

Triangulate information and insights to develop a strong product technique and advise determination making

Make the most of A/B testing and different methodologies to validate the success of your chosen strategy

I’m positive most PMs have fundamental information of information and A/B testing. This job opening, nevertheless, being a Senior-level place, requires a deeper understanding and the flexibility to make data-driven selections.

So, right here, you will have to be educated of a statistical check for deciphering the outcome, selection of A/B experiment metrics, utilizing SQL and Python to investigate hypotheses, frequent errors, and many others., shortly. I’ll write a separate article about this.


On this evaluation, I needed to learn between the strains of the job description and present that generally merchandise will not be solely about UI or gluing collectively well-known blocks (web site, chatbot, supply) to create one large image.

There are often no such blocks for the PMs of modern firms, as their space is so new and complicated. And lots of thrilling duties, such because the Spotify Playlist Platform, come up exactly the place enterprise and complicated tech come collectively.

I hope it helped! And in case you are contemplating making use of for the same job, I want you the most effective of luck on this endeavor!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here