The Spotify Play: How CEO and Founder Daniel Ek Beat Apple, Google and Amazon in the Race for Audio Dominance

Sven Carlsson and Jonas Leijonhufvud. Diversion, $17.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-63576-744-5
Journalists Carlsson and Leijonhufvud trace the victories and struggles of a startup turned behemoth in this fawning corporate biography of music streaming service Spotify. The authors touch on CEO Daniel Ek’s early tech ventures (among other things, he was a consultant at Stardoll, “a website full of virtual paper dolls that catered to young girls”) before he partnered with programmer Andreas Ehn and entrepreneur Martin Lorentzon to launch Spotify in 2008. Ek marketed Spotify as a solution to piracy, won the support of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and got an investment from Napster cofounder Sean Parker. The authors cover Spotify’s decade-long conflict with Apple, whose market dominance Spotify threatened as it took over the music streaming space. The authors display more enthusiasm toward Ek than readers are likely to have (they call frequent lies in his personal life “entrepreneurial hustle,” and spend pages writing about the “headaches” behind his multimillion-dollar homes), and let some of his surprising claims slide as quirks, as with an account of Ek insisting Steve Jobs was calling him to breathe over the phone and intimidate him. Nevertheless, fans of swashbuckling startup success stories will find this one hits the mark. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 11/16/2020
Release date: 01/01/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
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