Daniek Ek is the founder and CEO of revolutionary music streaming application Spotify, which counts 217 million active users — 100 million of whom pay the premium monthly fees. Nearly 40,000 tracks – equivalent to 83 days worth of music – are added to Spotify every single day. More than 50 million songs are currently available on the service for listeners.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Ek said he had the idea for the service in 2002, when peer-to-peer music service Napster shut down and another illegal site Kazaa took over. Ek said that he “realised that you can never legislate away from piracy. Laws can definitely help, but it doesn’t take away the problem.”
He wanted to create a service that was better than piracy and at the same time compensated the music industry. The popularity with users suggests he achieved the first goal, but Spotify has received criticism from artists for paying too little to lesser-known artists. Thom Yorke, lead singer of Radiohead, pulled his solo work from the site earlier in 2019 in protest at the payment policies.
Spotify made $1.68bn in the first Quarter of 2019.