[Netflix] ‘The Playlist’: How Spotify changed the face of music

When a streaming platform tells the story of another platform, it gives The Playlist, or how the start-up Spotify has redistributed the cards of the music industry in a few years. An instructive series told from the point of view of the different protagonists.

the playlist-photo
Copyright Jonas Alarik/Netflix

At first glance, we welcome the series with as much curiosity as skepticism. The Playlist (from the investigative book “Spotify Untold” written by two Swedish journalists), dedicated to the creation and rise of the music streaming platform Spotify. Without being the most exciting subject of the year in terms of series, it nevertheless seemed interesting to know how this small start-up founded by a 22-year-old Swedish geek, Daniel Ek – played by Edvin Endreactor crossed in the series The Spy, Fortitude, and especially vikings – in the early 2000s, had become the number 1 service in the world in terms of online music by 2022.

The Playlist: PosterWhat the series is about The Playlist, is how the world of music has been totally turned upside down by the arrival of digital and high-speed internet. First illegally with peer-to-peer sites like The Pirate Bay mentioned in the series, and subsequently with Spotify.

Told in 6 episodes, each with a specific angle (the vision, the industry, the law, the coder, the partner and finally the artist), lists all the issues that were at the heart of the success story of Spotifyand the problems faced by the various protagonists of the music world (CEOs of majors, lawyers, artists, hackers, consumers and of course the founders of Spotify…) at a time when music became dematerialized and it was a new economic model had to be devised.

In this, the series is quite interesting, offering fairly rhythmic episodes, full of information, terms that are sometimes not very obvious to the general public, explaining how, in a few years, things have evolved extremely quickly in the minds of majors, initially totally opposed to this system, and which ended up giving in to this new digital giant, like the Sony boss for Sweden.

But the most edifying and touching episode is undoubtedly the last one, where we follow the point of view of a young soul singer, Bobbi T. (character invented for the series), a friend of Daniel Ekwhich despite what the latter had promised, despite a considerable number of online listenings, notes that Spotify leaves the artists in precariousness. This will then become the leader of a movement that will fight for a fairer distribution of income to artists, thus echoing the case of the artist Taylor Swiftwho in 2014 had decided to withdraw from Spotify (only to return to it later), in protest at the ridiculous income pocketed by musicians.

Benoit RICHARD

The Playlist
Swedish series created by Per-Olav Sørensen, Hallgrim Haug…
With Edvin Endre, Christian Hillborg, Gizem Erdogan
Genre: Biopic
6 episodes of approximately 60 minutes
Broadcast on Netflix since October 13, 2022

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