Spotify is currently the world’s most valuable music company. It still doesn’t make a profit, but it leaves its much better-resourced competitors behind when it comes to the size of its user base. Behind the Swedish company’s meteoric rise is 35-year-old co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek, whom Robert Safian profiles in an article for Fast Company.


Sweden-based Spotify has revolutionized the music business. At the time of its launch in 2008, Apple dominated the digital download business with its iTunes platform and the traditional music industry was seeing its revenue dwindle. Spotify co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek’s vision was to enable music listeners to stream music to their mobile phones rather than first having to download it to their iPods. To pay for licensing fees, Ek charged a monthly subscription for using Spotify’s mobile service. Meanwhile, customers could access an ad-supported desktop version for free, which has proven to be an efficient way to win over new subscribers. When the...

About the Author

Robert Safian is managing director of The Flux Group, a strategic advisory firm. 

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