Self-awareness was never a quality that Spotify CEO Daniel Ek had in any meaningful quantity. This is, remember, the man who told musicians who make no money on his service to make more music, as if everyone is capable of churning out new music like a factory.
Recently, he claimed he wanted to buy London football club Arsenal. Over the weekend, he revealed he’d made an offer to the club that Josh Kroenke turned down – although weirdly, Arsenal are claiming the offer was never made. Who’s lying, then?
There is, of course, a considerable irony in his offer that many music fans will have noticed. He talks about fan ownership. He talks about representation at the board. And he also references “a golden share for the supporters”.
It’s an interesting proposal, and very different to anything in sport at present. Yet his own company Spotify possesses none of these qualities. Not a single artist is represented on the board of Spotify. Indeed, the board consists mostly of people who either served at tech companies or financial institutions.
As for the shareholders, Daniel Ek owns 9% of shares and co-founder Martin Lorentzon owns 12%. Yet because of the system in place at the company, they have 37% and 43% voting control respectively. That leaves all other shareholders wrestling it out for the remaining 20%, meaning they have virtually no power within the company.
Your hypocrisy is painfully visible this Monday morning, Daniel…