Spotify’s billionaire CEO Daniel Ek, who revolutionised on-demand music listening for thousands and thousands of individuals, is a resilient entrepreneur from a Swedish working-class suburb who now hopes to deliver his enterprise acumen to “the gorgeous recreation”.
The 38-year-old, identified for his no-nonsense perspective, has provided to purchase Premier League membership Arsenal amid supporter backlash towards unpopular American proprietor Stan Kroenke.
Ek co-founded Spotify with Martin Lorentzon in 2006, and the corporate which made its debut on the New York Inventory Change in 2018 now has a market capitalisation of $56 billion.
Bald, bearded and an informal dresser often seen in sneakers, T-shirt and a blazer, Ek is thought for his reserved fashion and pragmatism — a shy problem-solver with a inventive streak who takes lengthy walks to assume issues via and who prizes collective teamwork over the person.
Ek bought into pc programming as a younger child, and was a greenback millionaire by the age of 23 when he offered his internet advertising firm Advertigo in 2006 for a reported $1.25 million.
“However he is extra of a businessman than a tech nerd,” Sven Carlsson, co-author of “The Spotify Play”, informed AFP, portray him as a visionary.
“He is at all times pondering six months forward. He isn’t into the small print. He is identified for having bold, lofty objectives, with no understanding for the way unrealistic they’re,” he stated.
“He thinks massive, and he has endurance” to see these initiatives via to fruition.
Ek was raised in Stockholm’s working-class suburb of Ragsved. His father left the household when Daniel was younger.
“He is at all times had one thing to show… Being left by his dad was a formative expertise,” Carlsson stated.
Pelle Snickars, co-author of “The Swedish Unicorn: the story about Spotify”, describes Ek as “fairly Swedish by way of values”.
“We do not see him on journal covers alongside celebrities, he isn’t hierarchical and doesn’t hesitate to showcase his collaborators,” Snickars informed AFP.
With round 9 % of Spotify’s capital and 37 % of voting rights, Forbes put Ek’s fortune at an estimated 4.8 billion in April 2021.
Spice issues up
In 2006, Ek and Lorentzon got here up with the thought of making a platform to distribute music on-line legally, a observe that on the time was dominated by unlawful file sharing websites.
The duo experimented with sharing mp3 music information between the onerous drives on their computer systems. In October 2008 Spotify was lastly able to go reside after Ek pleaded with music labels to open their catalogues.
“Improvements are by no means completely new,” Ek informed the Royal Institute of Know-how (KTH) in Stockholm throughout a 2013 go to.
“The success comes from combining issues that exist already and making an attempt to resolve an issue that one is admittedly concerned in,” he added.
Ek reportedly dropped out of the college’s engineering programme to pursue an IT profession — although his enrolment on the college has by no means been confirmed, Carlsson famous.
He stated Ek’s former colleagues nicknamed him “Spice”.
“They thought he at all times spiced up his tales a little bit to make them extra fascinating,” Carlsson stated, including that it wasn’t essentially a foul factor.
“Storytelling is one thing Spotify and Daniel Ek have at all times been good at.”
Ek’s perseverance could have led to the exceptional rise of the startup, however artists have through the years complained of it paying them too little and cannibalising gross sales from their albums.
Ek has repeatedly argued that streaming is a greater various for artists and that “piracy does not pay (them) a penny — nothing, zilch, zero”.
Snickars and co-author Rasmus Fleischer dispute the concept Spotify was based to finish piracy and power shoppers to pay for music.
They declare that neither Ek nor Lorentzon “had any expertise with working professionally with music”, however they’d a typical background from digital promoting.
“They weren’t significantly fascinated about music…they might have labored on pores and skin merchandise as a substitute,” Snickars informed AFP.
Now, Ek is able to dive into the soccer enviornment.
“As a child rising up, I’ve cheered for Arsenal so long as I can bear in mind. If KSE (Kroenke Sports activities Enterprises) wish to promote Arsenal I would be completely satisfied to throw my hat within the ring,” Ek wrote on Twitter on April 23.
Kroenke has nevertheless insisted Arsenal will not be on the market regardless of rising supporter unrest on the American billionaire’s possession of the membership, whose final Premier League title got here in 2003/04.
Ek, the daddy of two youngsters, married his long-time associate Sofia Levander in 2016 on the shores of Italy’s Lake Como within the presence of Fb founder Mark Zuckerberg, comic Chris Rock and singer Bruno Mars.