‘Spotify Untold’ book trails surprising Steve Jobs anecdote


As openers for a book about Spotify go, this’ll take some beating: an anecdote about how the stresses of Spotify’s efforts to launch in the US in 2010 – amid behind-the-scenes opposition from Apple – may have affected its CEO Daniel Ek.

“As stress sets in, Ek becomes convinced that Apple’s Steve Jobs is calling his phone just to breathe deeply on the other end of the line, he purportedly confesses to a colleague,” is how Variety paraphrases the tale, which kicks off a new Swedish-language book called ‘Spotify Inifrån’ (‘Spotify Untold’), based on more than 70 interviews with former Spotify execs and investors, as well as music-industry sources.

“We have that from a trusted source. Whether Steve Jobs actually called Daniel Ek is something we can’t verify. To us, Ek’s claim is as a reflection of how paranoid and anxious he must have felt in 2010, when Spotify was being denied access to the U.S. market, in large part due to pressure from Apple,” said co-author Sven Carlsson. Note: the authors make it clear that Ek did not participate in the book: so this is a secondhand anecdote. It sounds like there’s plenty more in the book though.

“All the secrets surrounding how the record companies got rich on Spotify, how Ek almost bought both Tidal and SoundCloud, and how the stock trading in the most exclusive of global financial circles set the stage for Spotify’s listing on Wall Street…”

Stuart Dredge

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