Spotify’s CEO Has an Estimated Net Worth of $310 Million

Seriously?

The net worth estimate was calculated by the London-based Sunday Times, which now ranks Spotify CEO Daniel Ek as the 10th richest music industry person in Britain (Ek is now based in London).  The personal worth of 190 million pounds, or $310 million at current exchange rates, puts Ek on par with Mick Jagger.

Here’s the Times ranking.

1. Clive Calder

Estimated net worth: £1.35 billion

2. Sir Cameron Mackintosh

£725 million

3. Sir Paul McCartney

£665 million

4. Lord Lloyd Webber

£590 million

5. U2

£519 million (combined)

6. Simon Fuller

£375 million

7. Simon Cowell

£225 million

8. Sir Elton John

£220 million

9. Michael Flatley

£192 million

10. (tied) David and Victoria Beckham

£190 million

Sir Mick Jagger

£190 million

Daniel Ek

£190 million

A few problems immediately stand out with the calculation.  Ek’s valuation is largely paper-based and mostly illiquid: Spotify may be worth more than $1.2 billion (or more) based on investor valuations, but Ek simply cannot access a large percentage of this capital.  That is, unless a monster acquisition or IPO takes place (a huge ‘if’ right now.)

Then, there’s the nagging issue of a money-bleeding business model, though insiders are increasingly pointing Digital Music News to a billion-dollar shell game.  And in this game, profits don’t necessarily matter: Spotify has the ridiculous scale of Facebook and Coca-Cola; it has investors willing to gamble with hundreds of millions; it has the possibility of going public on Wall Street or even getting acquired at an Instagram-style multiple.

Sounds like a great game if you’re a Spotify investor, Spotify executive like Ek, or major label payee.  But artists seem to be getting completely left out of this ‘game,’ thanks to laughable payouts and endless pressure to participate in the ‘future’.  The question is whether enough will play along.  “Spotify would be/have nothing if not for the artists who create the music!” one artist emailed us morning.

30 Responses

  1. Bald Headed John

    That’s a lot of dome wax and I should know

  2. @Fight!

    Look how successful! At only 26! Not broke like some loser musician…

    #spotify #greed

    • Anonymous

      So why do you keep using it for free loser? Go away.

    • FarePlay

      Well, well the defenders of Mr. Ek. Between Ek’s connection with former Napster founders, who started this whole mess along with a 12 year slide in revenue for artist.

      Spotify’s nearly 20% equity stake from the record labels as part of their licensing “negotiations”.

      His deals with AT&T, McDonalds and other MAJOR corporations to enable them to stream music FOR FREE. Well wait, that’s not entirely true. While the musicians will lose out on lucrative licensing fees, Spotify will gain loads of new subscribers and probably a couple of bucks. AT&T, McDonalds, etc.? Now they can save on all those bothersome licensing fees.

      You have to admire his brilliance, even if it comes off the backs of others hard work. And we thought only Wall Street was that evil.

      So Mr. Ek, next time you walk by a street musician, drop in a couple bucks in that beaten up, well worn guitar case; does that sound fair?

      So you can join us at

      Learn more here: http://thetrichordist.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/musicians-pov-give-it-to-mikey-hell-eat-anything-spotify-is-good-for-you-yum-yum-part-1-of-5/

      Or prattle on about his success.

      • Visitor

        Or we can just choose not to listen to you. Spotify is AMAZING and is the FUTURE….

        • LeeM

          I have a B2B background music business and ‘free’ is pretty tough to compete with. Services like Spotify and the labels themselves have devalued music, depriving artists and (music) businesses alike.

          I don’t see it as “big label” or “huge start up”, it’s a club for the megalomaniacs; where salaries and personal wealth take precedence over profitable performance. I doubt that the megalomaniac is concerned about longevity of a business; it’s about what’s in it for them in this lifetime.

    • WILL

      ..because he had the vision to create this business. You could have too. That’s what seperates young successful tech CEO’s from the rest..they have the balls to get off their arse and take it on. It’s not easy founding a startup – lots of hurdles and setbacks that people like Elk find a way to battle through. He merits it.

      • Yup

        Exactly.

        The funny thing is, Ek was a multi millionaire YEARS before Spotify was even a twinkle in his eye. This guy was working his ass off as a programmer in his teens from a shitty part of Sweden then managed to navigate his way through the tech world to where he is now.

        PS, no one ever said business, let a lone the music business was fair.

        • TheFuturist

          Right on! Nothing but cry babies on here. They are all living in the past like the record companies did for so many years and look at where they are now.

      • Central Scrutinizer

        Always appreciate the petit bourgeois rationalization of how one hard working individual is rich and the other equally hard working individual is forced to become a wage slave because of circumstance.

  3. @forcemm

    Artists are making pennies from Spotify but their CEO has a net worth of $310 million!

  4. Anonymous

    Shup the hell up! It’s much better than people downloading their music for free on torrents.

    • musicservices4less

      Ahhh, the digital technocrats come out to play!

      • Visitor

        Hell of a lot better then being a digital techpublican!

  5. musicservices4less

    Is Ek really in the music business or in the record distribution business? Elton John, Mick Jagger, Clive Calder, etc. are but Ek and a few other names? It’s like saying that Steve Jobs was in the music business because of iTunes. I’m sorry, did I miss where Ek signed a recording artist? Did he ever try to promote a record and get it noticed (other than on Spotify)? Let’s be real. He and those like him are in technology and do not give two **its about music – only making money from music and those who create it.

  6. @brookeslist

    Spotify’s CEO is worth this much? What about artists? The company wouldn’t be a company if it wasn’t for the music!

    • Anonymous

      True. But where are the artists without Spotify? Spotify is the future whether you like it or not. #DealWithIt

  7. @mrjimbob

    Spotify’s CEO Has an Estimated Net Worth of $310 Million

    Or 88 bazillion bazillion bazillion plays of Sheriff Fatman.

  8. @mikesplain

    Spotify’s CEO has a net worth of $310 Million because of a simple music platform. Proves what quality execution can do.

  9. Visitor

    MOG is so much better than Spotify. Best audio quality out there outside of an actual CD. Even better than iTunes.