Daniel Ek
IBL/REX/Shutterstock
Sweden
2018

Spotify

Daniel
Ek

Co-Founder / CEO

For all the controversy and criticism — “They don’t pay artists!” “They’ll never make a profit!” — in just over 10 years, Spotify has etched its place as biggest music streamer and goosed a formerly moribund music business. At the helm is Ek, whose combination of engineering skill, marketing savvy and myth-building flair has beaten companies with substantially deeper pockets, like Apple, Google and Amazon — although how long it can maintain that supremacy is unknown. Still, in 2018 the company cleared its greatest hurdle — entering the stock exchange via an unusual public listing IPO — and was recently valued at $36 billion. Just announced is Spotify for Artists, which enables independent musicians to upload their music directly to the platform.

Career

  • Spotify
  • Advertigo
  • Stardoll

Education

  • Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden)

Variety Honors

  • 2017 Variety500 Honoree
  • Digital Entertainment Impact/Digital Execs
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News from Variety

Spotify’s Daniel Ek Slams Apple for ‘Anticompetitive’ Practices in Berlin Speech

Spotify’s Daniel Ek Slams Apple for ‘Anticompetitive’ Practices in Berlin Speech

Spotify CEO and cofounder Daniel Ek doubled down on his company’s criticism of Apple for what it says are “anticompetitive” practices on its app store during a speech Thursday at the International Conference on Competition in Berlin. Spotify filed an official complaint with the European Commission against Apple in Europe on Wednesday, contending that the company unfairly limits choice and competition through the rules of its app store.“It’s fairly widely known that Steve Jobs initially wanted only Apple content on...

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