Netflix today announced its plan for a scripted series about “Swedish music sensation Spotify.” The series, based on the book Spotify Untold, will focus on the company’s origin story as it rose from European unknown to household name during the heyday of music piracy.
“The story of how a small band of Swedish tech industry insiders transformed music — how we listen to it and how it’s made — is truly a tale of our time,” said Berna Levin, executive producer of Yellow Bird, the producers behind the series. “Not only is this a story about the way all our lives have changed in the last decade, it’s about the battle for cultural and financial influence in a globalized, digitized world.”
It’s not a company with the tumultuous past of Facebook, or its polarizing leader, so it’s doubtful the new series will be a Sorkin-esque epic a la The Social Network, but that doesn’t mean there’s no drama to be found.
Spotify, founded by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, is “an ongoing fairytale in a modern history about how Swedish wiz kids changed the music industry forever,” said Per-Olav Sørensen, who is slated to direct the series. Sørensen is perhaps best known for his work on another Netflix original, the critically acclaimed Quicksand.
After launching in 2006, the Sweden-based company wasn’t exactly a smash hit. Unlike Facebook, Twitter, or even TikTok, more recently, Spotify was a bit of an unknown for nearly half a decade after opening its doors. The company launched its first app in 2008, offering free streaming music (or commercial-free subscriptions) for $10 a pop. But the company didn’t extend its reach outside of Europe until 2011, the year it officially launched in the United States. Seven years later, in 2018, it IPO’d with a $26.5 billion valuation.
“The founding tale of Spotify is a great example of how a local story can have a global impact,” adds Tesha Crawford, Netflix’s Director of International Originals (Northern Europe).