Netflix, the leading force in video streaming, is making a limited television series about Stockholm, Sweden-based Spotify, the largest audio-streaming service hailing from Sweden.
“The founding tale of Spotify is a great example of how a local story can have a global impact,” Tesha Crawford, a Netflix director, said in a statement. Netflix didn’t provide a premiere date.
Bloomberg reported yesterday that the show will depict not only how Spotify CEO Daniel Ek and his partner Martin Lorentzon started Spotify, but also how the company managed to “thrive by offering legal streamed music in the face of then-rampant song piracy.”
When it tried to crack the US market in 2010, the Swedish startup was reportedly under intense pressure from the Cupertino tech giant, which had roughly 80 percent of the US market for digital music distribution at the time. Ultimately, Spotify cut secret deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music which finally allowed it to enter the US market.
The yet-untitled Netflix series is reportedly inspired by “Spotify Untold”, a book about the rise of Spotify written by Swedish business reporters Jonas Leijonhufvud and Sven Carlsson who painted an exciting David-and-Goliath story about a young hacker from Rågsved who built the world’s leading music-streaming service that has managed to beat Apple at its own game.
“Spotify Untold” opens with an odd scene describing how the Spotify CEO confided in a colleague that he believed Steve Jobs was basically prank-calling him.
Variety has more on that:
The year is 2010 and Spotify co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek is facing a succession of obstacles gaining entry into the US market — or, more specifically, infiltrating the tightly-networked and often nepotistic to a fault music industry. As stress sets in, Ek becomes convinced that Apple’s Steve Jobs is calling his phone just to breathe deeply on the other end of the line, he purportedly confesses to a colleague.
The authors claim the tidbit came “from a trusted source”.
The book also tells how Spotify came close to acquiring Tidal and Soundcloud, how Microsoft, Google and Tencent all offered to buy Spotify at various points and how Ek struck a partnership with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg just ahead of Spotify’s US launch.
Spotify was founded in 2006 and currently claims more than 113 million paying subscribers while Netflix, which started back in 1997 as a DVD-by-mail service, now has more than 158 million subscribers globally.