Spotify or Apple Music?
Spotify has been around for many years, but it especially rose to dominance in the last few years. However, it hasn’t always been success and diamonds for the two Swedish founders and entrepreneurs, Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon.
Once upon a time (back in 2005), they were two guys fiddling and working on the development of Spotify from Ek’s apartment. It was so hot inside because of all the servers running– and the two founders were said that they were forced to sit around half-naked to avoid sweating to their death.
But let’s back up.
Daniel Ek has always had an unparalleled love for music… and technology. The young Swedish boy was without a biological father in his life and was given the chance to combine music and technology in his studies at secondary school. After completing IT college where he graduated with top grades, he landed a job at Europe’s largest advertisement company and rapidly became successful. At that age, 23, he was financially independent, owned a red Ferrari Modena, and owned a VIP card to the hottest clubs in Stockholm, Sweden. Source
But he soon slinked into depression. Ek sold his Ferrari and apartment in downtown Stockholm, moving into a cabin in the woods. There, Ek spent the cold winter playing his guitar and thinking about the meaning of life. Then Lorentzon and Ek come into contact. And shortly thereafter, they came up with the idea of a music streaming service and became two guys developing Spotify in a small apartment.
In the spring of 2007, the company released its first public beta version of Spotify. In summer 2007, Spotify is released to Mac. In October of 2008, Spotify is officially released in Europe. However, it hasn’t been released in the U.S. yet. At this point in time, Apple was still dominating the courts with their iTunes feature. In 2009, a mobile application version of Spotify is released for iOS and Android devices, showing that the company worked to keep up with current trends. In 2010, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Daniel Ek meet and drink a beer to discuss a Facebook/Spotify integration. Then finally… in 2011, Spotify is finally released in the United States. Shortly after, Spotify introduced its new feature that connected Facebook accounts to Spotify, making connecting with Facebook friends simpler. From that point on, Spotify grew immensely, garnering many new subscribers. And in 2015, Apple launched Apple Music to compete with Spotify. Too little too late.
Nowadays, Spotify is now at the top of the world as the #1 music streaming service. It was a long journey for Ek who once sat alone and cold in his cabin in the woods, plinking his guitar and contemplating life. Despite achieving success in his early 20s, Ek wanted more. I think it’s inspiring that he was able to rise up from depression and put his two passions (music and technology) together. Doing something he loves and worthwhile eventually paved the way to more success, and he found his calling and purpose. It’s especially inspiring that he’s doing something that he loves. As an avid Spotify user, I appreciate the story behind Spotify and will continue to support the service.