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New Netflix Original to Tell the Story of Spotify’s Creation

Daniel Ek Spotify
Vesa Moilanen/REX/Shutterstock

In a case of one disrupter telling the story of another, Netflix has boarded a series about the creation of Spotify, the Swedish startup that’s become one of the world’s leading music services.

The as-yet-untitled limited series, to be directed by Per-Olav Sørensen (“Quicksand”), is inspired by the book “Spotify Untold” by Sven Carlsson and Jonas Leijonhufvud, who are business reporters at Sweden’s Dagens Industri.

The series will follow young Swedish tech entrepreneur Daniel Ek and his partner, Martin Lorentzon, who revolutionized the music industry at a turbulent time when it was being damaged by piracy and controlled by heavy-hitters who were fighting each other for a bigger piece of the pie. The pair took the industry by storm by offering free and legal streamed music around the world.

Netflix said the series will be “about how hard convictions, unrelenting will, access and big dreams can help small players challenge the status quo by evolving the way we can all listen to music.” The series will shoot in both English and Swedish.

Production outfit Yellow Bird U.K., which is owned by Banijay, announced last August that it had optioned “Spotify Untold” and planned to adapt it into a television series. Netflix said Wednesday that it had boarded the project.

“The rise of Spotify is one of the greatest stories to come out of Sweden in the past 10 years,” Leijonhufvud said in August. “It’s a saga of a young founder who came out of nowhere and beat Apple at their own game.”

Berna Levin (“Young Wallander,” “Hidden” and “The Girl in the Spider’s Web”) will serve as executive producer on the new Spotify series.

“The story of how a small band of Swedish tech industry insiders transformed music – how we listen to it and how it’s made – is truly a tale for our time,” said Levin. “Not only is this a story about the way all our lives have changed in the last decade, it’s about the battle for cultural and financial influence in a globalized, digitized world.”

Director Sørensen, who worked with Netflix on the hit Swedish series “Quicksand,” said the story of Spotify was an “ongoing fairy tale in modern history about how Swedish whiz kids changed the music industry forever. “

He said the series would be a challenge “because the Spotify story has not ended yet – it is still running with high speed and will probably change while we work on the project.”

Yellow Bird is one of Europe’s leading production companies, with operations in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and in the UK. The banner previously produced the Netflix series “Young Wallander,” as well the hit “Millennium trilogy,” “Headhunters” and “Occupied.”