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Ken Parks, chief content officer and managing director of North American operations, Spotify

Dealmakers Impact Report 2011: Executives

“Our aim is ubiquity,” Ken Parks told Variety this summer, when asked of Spotify’s long-term ambitions, and following the music streaming company’s launch in the U.S. last summer, it appears well on its way toward that goal. Parks has only been with the company for a little over a year, having worked as EMI’s VP of strategy and business development until June 2010, yet that was ultimately plenty of time to help orchestrate one of the biggest music industry deals of the past year.

KEY DEAL: Opened the Swedish company’s first offices in the U.S. and headed up negotiations with the four major record labels, indie groups and performance rights orgs to secure licenses to stream on-demand music to users for free — a provision they had never agreed to before in the U.S. Since it launched its freemium model Stateside, Spotify’s lead has been followed by existing streaming services such as Rdio and MOG, and the service’s subscriber numbers jumped following a well publicized integration with Facebook’s Open Graph platform. After only three months of U.S. operation the company boasted more than 2 million U.S. users in October, with around a quarter of a million paid subscribers. Hollywood has shown interest as well, and recently Relativity Media turned to the service for a marketing partnership in advance of the release of “Immortals.”

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