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

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

by Sven Carlsson, Jonas Leijonhufvud


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The American edition of the revelatory Swedish book Spotify Untold, the basis of the new Netflix Original series slated for 2022!

"Two excellent Swedish journalists recount the historic rise of the company that changed modern music not just as a riveting business tale, but as a lesson in tech geopolitics. Spotify’s Daniel Ek shows why Silicon Valley does not always win.”—David Kirkpatrick, New York Times bestselling author of The Facebook Effect

Steve Jobs tried to stop this moment from ever happening. Google and Microsoft made bids to preempt it. The music industry blocked it time and again. Yet, on a summer's eve in 2011, the whiz kid CEO of a Swedish start-up celebrated his company's US launch.

In the midst of the Apple-Android tech war and a music label crusade against piracy and illegal downloading, Spotify redrew the battle lines, sent shockwaves through Silicon Valley, and got the hardline executives at Universal, Sony, and Warner to sign with its "free-mium" platform.

In The Spotify Play, now adapted into an upcoming Netflix Original series, Swedish investigative tech journalists Sven Carlsson and Jonas Leijonhufvud, who covered the company from its inception, draw upon hundreds of interviews, previously untapped sources, and in-depth reporting on figures like Mark Zuckerberg, Sean Parker, Steve Jobs, Taylor Swift, Jay-Z, Pony Ma Huateng, and Jimmy Iovine. They have captured the riveting David vs. Goliath story of a disruptive innovator who played the industry giants in a quest to revolutionize the consumption of sound, building today's largest online source of audio, with more than 50 million songs, one million-plus podcasts, and over 300 million users.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635767445
Publisher: Diversion Books
Publication date: 01/26/2021
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 578,207
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Sven Carlsson is a tech journalist based in Stockholm. He is currently the technology correspondent for Swedish Radio News. He has a master's degree from Columbia Journalism School and previously worked at the daily newspapers Dagens Industri and Svenska Dagbladet.

Jonas Leijonhufvud has been a business journalist in Sweden since 1998. He interviewed Jeff Bezos when the tech bubble was about to burst, and founder Martin Lorentzon when Spotify had just launched. He has a BA in Media Arts from The University of Arizona and is currently a tech reporter at Dagens Industri, Sweden’s leading business newspaper.

The Spotify Play was updated and translated from Swedish by the authors themselves.

Table of Contents

Prologue x

1 A Secret Idea 1

2 The Engineers 10

3 Rågsved 25

4 Party Like It's 1999 33

5 Better Than Piracy 43

6 "Wealth-type Money" 52

7 All Music for Free 61

8 Bridge to America 79

9 "Schmuck Insurance" 93

10 Sean & Zuck 112

11 "Winter is Coming" 124

13 Spotify TV 142

13 Apple Buys Beats 152

14 Death Valley 169

15 From Nashville to Brooklyn 175

16 Big Data 188

17 Brilliant Sweden 202

18 The Streaming Wars 222

19 Wall Street 235

20 The House That Daniel Built 263

Acknowledgments 279

References and Sources 281

Index 289

About the Authors 296

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