Thursday, Sep. 09, 2010

Daniel Ek

Despite co-founding Spotify, a music-streaming service, Swedish-born Daniel Ek loves vinyl records. But don't be fooled. Ek is intent on making music more accessible and mobile, and his iPhone and digital-music library are never far from his side. "People amass more music now than ever, but it's not about ownership. It's about accessibility," he says. "We're not selling tracks; we're selling access."

Spotify is a small downloadable application that allows access to a massive database (8 million tracks and 200 million user-generated playlists so far) of streamable music. Spotify aggregates content from rights holders, and that music is then made available through free, ad-funded or subscription-based downloads. Ek's goal is to give his 500,000 subscribers all the music they want at a nominal fee — $15 a month in the U.K. Some rights holders, like AC/DC, have balked, but services like Pandora have already proved the concept. "It took Facebook at least five years. Before that, everyone said it would never work," Ek says. "It takes time. Now look at Facebook."

by Gary Moskowitz