March 5, 2024

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‘The Spotify Play’ Review: Better Than Piracy

Neil Youthful, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham owe Daniel Ek an massive financial debt of gratitude correct about now. The rock legends have all just lately bought their music publishing legal rights for gigantic sums, promote-offs that can partially be attributed to the surge in electronic profits that accounts for additional than half the world recorded-new music industry. Just one person observed all this coming right before any one else: Mr. Ek, the 37-12 months-outdated co-founder of Spotify, the world’s biggest streaming company with 320 million users and counting.

For those people of us who frequently call up nearly any track we desire with a faucet on our mobile phone screens, it is straightforward to assume of streaming audio as an inevitable improvement. But for Mr. Ek, streaming’s triumph was a lot more of a self-satisfying prophecy. Having endured years of pushback, Spotify has been at the vanguard of a global revolution in the way audio is eaten. It’s really a turnabout for the Stockholm indigenous, who has endured heaps of detrimental press, the enmity of underpaid musicians almost everywhere, and the looming danger of competing expert services from Apple, Jay-Z’s Tidal and many many others.

Co-penned by two veteran reporters who have intently tracked the Swedish technological innovation sector, “The Spotify Play” (translated into English by the authors them selves) provides an outsider-to-kingmaker narrative that really should be browse by every gun-shy entrepreneur far too spooked by Silicon Valley’s giants to go head-to-head with them. Mr. Ek has outlasted his rivals and defied his critics: His triumphs are soundtracked by 1.5 billion consumer-produced Spotify playlists.

A rabid tunes admirer as a teenager, Mr. Ek’s exposure to Napster was a profound conversion working experience. Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker’s file-sharing assistance was the shrapnel blast that tore holes through the web’s professional firewalls. “Napster is almost certainly the world-wide-web service which has modified my lifetime extra than everything else,” Mr. Ek as soon as told an interviewer. What if he could merge Napster’s peer-to-peer engineering with commercial articles? What if he could attract file-sharing out of the shadows?

Even though Mr. Ek was rapidly moving up as a programmer in Stockholm’s incredibly hot tech industry, the notion of a legal reply to Napster’s tunes streaming never remaining him. In 2006 Mr. Ek’s little startup Advertigo was obtained by Tradedoubler, a electronic advertising and marketing corporation whose co-founder Martin Lorentzon was enamored of Mr. Ek and his ideas. The savvy, flamboyant Mr. Lorentzon would develop into both equally partner and cheerleader. When he came to pay a visit to Mr. Ek in his raffish Stockholm community, Mr. Ek quoted “The Godfather” at him: “Put your hand in your pocket like you have a gun.”