The Playlist: release date of Netflix series about launch of Spotify - who is in the cast, is it a true story?

Swedish biographical drama series The Playlist follows two entrepreneurs as they launch revolutionary streaming service Spotify

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How Swedish tech entrepreneur Daniel Ek and business partner Martin Lorentzon revolutionised the music industry through free and legal music streaming when they launched Spotify. Semi-fictionalised drama The Playlist follows the pair’s journey from out of work software developers to the men who moulded the modern music industry.

Christian Hillborg as Martin LorentzonChristian Hillborg as Martin Lorentzon
Christian Hillborg as Martin Lorentzon

What is The Playlist about?

The Playlist follows tech entrepreneurs Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon in Stockholm in the early 2000s as they embark on a mission to create a revolutionary legal music streaming platform that will change the industry forever - and make the pair billionaires in the process.

Daniel Ek is a self-taught coder who has a mission to solve music piracy by developing a platform that is so attractive to users that they would rather pay for the service than download music illegally. As Daniel’s vision begins to come to fruition, he encounters legal hurdles and comes into conflict with file sharing site Pirate Bay.

Ek is eventually joined by fellow developer Martin Lorentzon, and the pair overcome technical challenges and take Spotify to the next level. In the final episode, Ek finds himself in a congressional hearing, defending his company from claims of exploitation in a moment that will be decisive for the fate of the platform.

 Edvin Endre as Daniel Ek Edvin Endre as Daniel Ek
Edvin Endre as Daniel Ek

Who is in the cast of The Playlist?

  • Edvin Endre as Daniel Ek
  • Gizem Erdogan as Petra Hansson
  • Christian Hillborg as Martin Lorentzon
  • Ulf Stenberg as Per Sundin
  • Severija Janusauskaite as Maxine
  • Joel Lützow as Andreas Ehn
  • Ella Rappich as Sophia Bendz
  • Lucas Serby as Mattias Arrelid
  • Jonatan Bökman as Gunnar Kreitz
  • Janice Kavander as Bobbi T
  • Erik Norén as Niklas Ivarsson
  • Rufus Glaser as Ludvig Strigeus

Is The Playlist a true story?

The Playlist is based on the non-fiction book, Spotify Untold, written by Swedish business reporters Sven Carlsson and Jonas Leijonhufvud. The main characters, Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon are real people who worked together to launch Spotify. The music streaming service has become one of the most downloaded apps of all-time, with more than 320 million monthly users globally.

The story of how the app was created, and the legal issues and claims of exploitation that the founders faced in real life are explored in the drama series. However, the series is billed as a fictionalised account, so Netflix may have taken some creative liberties with the narrative. Certain characters are fictional, including Bobbi T, who faces off against Daniel Ek in a congressional hearing, claiming that Spotify’s business model exploits her and other artists in the pursuit of profit.

Is there a trailer for The Playlist?

Yes there is, and you can watch it right here:

When is the release date of The Playlist?

The Playlist is a six-part limited series - all six episodes were released on Netflix on Thursday 13 October and are available to watch now. Episodes are between 45 and 56 minutes long.

Will there be a season 2 of The Playlist?

A second season of The Playlist has not been confirmed by Netflix, and it is unlikely that one will be commissioned. The series was conceived as a limited series and has told one complete story, so there is not a clear area for another season to explore.