Variety reports that the Spotify corpcomms book “Spotify Untold” is getting an order from Netflix for a series telling the story of Spotify’s “creation” featuring–guess who? The levitational awesomeness of Daniel Ek. No word on who will play David Lowery, Melissa Ferrick, Bob Gaudio or Brownlee Ferguson. So Netflix–which screws songwriters–is promoting Spotify–which also screws songwriters. And joins into Spotify’s lawfare campaign against Apple.
According to Variety, it’s not a question of astroturf writ large, it’s “a case of one disrupter [Netflix] telling the story of another [Spotify], Netflix has boarded a series about the creation of Spotify, the Swedish startup that’s become one of the world’s leading music services.”
So where’s what’s not mentioned in the Variety story on the Netflix deal is the Bergman-esque cheap shot at Apple the “authors” of “Spotify Untold” take at Steve Jobs on his death bed. This one is just bizarre and is the kind of thing you could imagine oozing from the mind of Daniel Ek. Maybe instead he should have been styled in a badminton game with Jobs. (I drill down on the loose ends in this storyin another post.)
Barely a page into the book “Spotify Untold,” Swedish authors Jonas Leijonhufvud (pictured at left) and Sven Carlsson paint an odd scene. The year is 2010 and Spotify co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek is facing a succession of obstacles gaining entry into the U.S. market — or, more specifically, infiltrating the tightly-networked and often nepotistic to a fault music industry. 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.
Which aspect of this story got them a Netflix deal? Was it the heavy breathing? Or maybe the corporate funding.
There’s a saying, “don’t speak ill of the dead.” That’s probably a bit superstitious for the Spotify Untold authors, but is good advice. It’s unbecoming and Spotify should denounce it. There’s also a saying, “don’t mock the afflicted,” so before you laugh hysterically at the story, realize that Steve Jobs caring enough about Daniel Ek to do such a thing (which assumes Steve knew Daniel Ek existed) was something that was very important to Daniel Ek
One thing I can tell you is that the Steve legend (a competing hero’s journey myth–a real one) has some choice tales of voice mails. None of them involved heavy breathing, and Variety reports that the authors were not able to confirm this rather insulting and perverse allegation.
So why bring it up in their book or in press interviews?