Daniel Ek is a Swedish billionaire entrepreneur and technologist. Ek is best known as the co-founder and CEO of the music streaming service Spotify. The sale of Advertigo as well as his previous work made Ek wealthy enough that he decided to retire. However, after a few months Ek realized that money was meaningless without a project he was passionate about which led to the founding of Spotify. Ek first had the idea for Spotify in 2002 when peer-to-peer music service Napster shut down and another illegal site Kazaa took over.
Ek said he “realised that you can never legislate away from piracy. Laws can definitely help, but it doesn’t take away the problem. 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.”
Ek incorporated Spotify AB with Martin Lorentzon in Stockholm, Sweden in 2006. Lorentzon had previously worked at and co-founded TradeDoubler which had acquired Ek’s previous company Advertigo. In October 2008, the company launched its legal music streaming service Spotify. Initially, Spotify ran on a peer-to-peer distribution model, similar to uTorrent, but switched to a server-client model in 2014.
Ek serves as CEO of Spotify. In October 2015, Spotify Co-Founder Martin Lorentzon announced he would be stepping down as Chairman and Ek would be taking over alongside his current role as CEO. As of June 2017, Spotify has 140 million active users and has raised over $2.5 billion in venture funding. In 2017, Daniel Ek was named as the most powerful person in the music industry by Billboard.
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