Daniel Ek

Co-Founder & CEO of Spotify

In 2017, Daniel Ek was named as one of the most powerful people, for his contribution to the world of music through his creation, Spotify. During his career, Daniel has proved himself to be an integral figure, specialising in technology, business and advertising. As an entrepreneur, technologist and hardworking billionaire, Daniel Ek’s influence has benefited both musicians and music loving customers alike.

Daniel’s first business venture started at the surprising age of 13, designing websites for clients from the secrecy of his bedroom. Though he charged his first client $100, it didn’t take long for him to recruit his classmates in exchange for video games, and start charging clients $5,000 per website. Within a matter of years, Daniel’s monthly earnings had reached $50,000, and by the age of 18 he was managing a team of 25 people. During this, Daniel graduated high school from IT-Gymnasiet in 2002, but dropped out of his Engineering course at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology to focus on his IT career.

One he sold his advertising company, Advertigo, Daniel decided to retire. However, after a few months, he realised that money was meaningless without a project he was passionate about, which led to the founding of Spotify. Alongside Martin Lorentzon, who bought out Advertigo and turned it into TradeDoubler, Daniel Co-Founded Spotify after spotting a gap in the market for legal music streaming.

Ek stated that he “realised that you can never legislate away from piracy. The only way to solve the problem was to create a service that was better than piracy and at the same time compensates the music industry – that gave us Spotify.”

In 2008, Spotify was officially launched. Initially, Spotify ran on a peer-to-peer distribution model, similar to uTorrent, but switched to a server-client model in 2014. In 2015, Spotify Co-Founder Martin Lorentzon stepped down as Chairman, leaving Daniel to take over the role. As of June 2017, Spotify has 140 million active users and has raised over $2.5 billion in venture funding.

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