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A New Netflix Series About The Rise Of Spotify

Spotify changed the way we listen, but where did it all begin?

Netflix is releasing a documentary series exploring how Spotify revolutionized the music industry

Just like Netflix changed the TV-watching experience globally, the streaming giant Spotify did the same for the music industry nearly fifteen years ago.

Earlier, people could only create playlists on their computers or own a collection of CDs to listen to their favorite artists. Today, music listeners can listen to every song in the world after just a few taps on their phones with the help of an app called Spotify.

What will it be about?

The limited six-part series will focus on the story of how Spotify, a small Swedish tech startup, became the biggest influencer in the music industry.

It will dive into the struggles of Spotify co-founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon on their revolutionary journey which began as a search for a solution to piracy and ended with the accidental building of what we now know as Spotify. Like every other start-up, it was once laughed upon and rejected, but we all know what happened next.

It is based on the book Spotify Untold written by Sven Carlsson and Jonas Leijonhufvud, two of the most capable tech investigative journalists. 

Just like the book, the series will explore the journey of Spotify. Before musical freedom, artists only had one option if they wanted to hear their song on the radio: to agree with the label on absolutely everything. The first and the biggest challenge Spotify faced was to convince huge record labels to sign with them, which sources claim will be a key plot component in the first few episodes.

Some other key moments we think should get a feature?

Apple Vs Spotify

The makers of the series were keen to tell this story because of the ongoing Apple vs Spotify battle. Carlsson and Leijonhufvud took to calling it the tale of David Vs Goliath.

For decades Apple has been the biggest force in the tech game. When Spotify was in its initial phase, they already had Apple iTunes in the US and they didn’t want to give users any other option. Spotify fought tooth and nail to get their app on iPhones which eventually happened in 2009. As we all know, not only did they get it approved but it now seems they have emerged victorious in the battle if recent statistics are anything to go by.

Famous Spotify Feuds

The tussle between a gigantic pop star and a new streaming platform is what many people are waiting to see in the series. By now, Taylor Swift’s name has become synonymous with taking drastic steps over royalties issue- but in 2014 this wasn’t the case.

To sum it all up, Tay Tay decided to go head to head with Spotify and have her whole catalog of music removed from the app because she believed music shouldn’t be free.

At the time, Swift even called the streaming websites a grand experiment and emphasized that they won’t be around for long. But with time, the app only grew bigger and better with countless streaming services today working on the same model. When she saw the undeniable boom she was successfully convinced to join Spotify again.

Just like Taylor, Bob Dylan also had his whole catalog removed from Spotify in 2009 only to rejoin later on. 

Casting and Production

Yellow Bird U.K. will produce the series and it will be directed by Per-Olav Sørensen. The producer Berna Levin said in a press release:

“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. 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.” 

The casting of the series is finalized with Swedish actor Edvin Endre playing founder Daniel Ek and Christian Hillborg portraying his co-founder Martin Lorentzo. Joel Lützow will star as Spotify’s first employee and Ulf Stenberg will appear as MD of Universal Music Sweden.

Netflix has listed the series will be available in 2022 but not much information is available about it just yet.

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