Who owns Spotify

Everyone loves music. No one has ever met a person in their life who did not like music at all. It does not matter which country you are living in you will be listening to music. You might be living in a metropolitan in a first world country or in a remote tribal village in a third world country, you will be listening to music. Music as someone said is a universal language. You don’t need to know the culture or genre, good music has the ability to move anyone. Each and every country has its own kind of music and the people living in those countries cherish their music. Not only that but people have been listening to a lot of music from other countries for the past few decades. Globalization has played a key role in spreading the music of different countries to various parts of the world.

Today you can listen to the music of any artist of any country. All you have to do is type in their name and boom you will get the list of all the songs they made. But this was not possible a few decades ago. In the early days, people could only hear music played by the local artists when they performed live. A few decades ago if people wanted to listen to music they had to do it through a radio or a gramophone. After that music was available through cassette tapes which were more affordable. This made more and more people listen to music they liked. CDs and DVDs are other inventions that really revolutionized the music industry. They were easy and required less money to make which meant more profit for artists and labels. Not just that they were also light. It all changed when Apple invented the iPod. That device could store nearly two thousand songs. Then came the age where you download and store your songs on an SD card. 

But what if you didn’t have to store your songs on your mobile phone but could hear them whenever you want using the internet. This is exactly what people are doing right now. They are downloading music streaming applications and getting a subscription to listen to the music they want. One of the most popular music streaming platforms in the current world is Spotify. Though Spotify is not the first platform to stream music online it definitely made music streaming more accessible to everyone. It is currently one of the biggest music streaming applications with a vast library. However, no one knows who owns this platform. This article will tell you who owns it. But before that let’s know a little bit about the company itself.

History of Spotify

The music streaming platform was founded more than a decade ago in Sweden. It was founded by Martin Lorenzon and Daniel Ek in the year 2006. The company had incurred losses in the first couple of years. They offered their services to the public for free in the United Kingdom.  Due to this, they had to stop the free tier services and started an invite-only service. Spotify launched its services in the United States in 2011. In the US it offered the users a six-month trial for free. After the subscription ended the users would lose the ability to stream unlimited music and other perks. They could only stream music free for ten hours in a month and could play a single song only five times. The following year Spotify removed all the restrictions on the free tier and allowed the users to stream unlimited music but with less quality.

In 2017 the company expanded to the United States, where it hired nearly a thousand new employees. As Spotify was growing people started witnessing the stats of music artists on Spotify. Initially, Justin Bieber was the biggest artist on Spotify who was overtaken by Rihanna. She was then overtaken by Drake whose song “One Dance” became the first song on Spotify to reach one billion streams. The user base of the company has drastically increased over the years. At the beginning of 2011, the platform had a little over one million users, and by the end of that year, its user base doubled. By the end of the year 2012, the company had more than 20 million active users out of which five million were paid subscribers. Spotify had 69 million users by the end of 2014. In 2016 Spotify had more than 100 million users, 40 million of them being paid subscribers. Today the music streaming platform Spotify has more than 130 million users. 

Who owns Spotify?

Now that you know about the company let’s get to the part you have been waiting for. The company had an initial public offering in 2018. This means that it is a public company now and more than one person has shares in the company. Let’s take a look at the institutions and individuals who own top shares in Spotify.

Here are the top individual shareholders of Spotify.

Daniel Ek

Daniel Ek who you already know is one of the co-founders is the largest shareholder in the company. He owns 47 million shares of the company including the warrants. If they are excluded he owns 9% of the company. 

Martin Lorentzon

Martin Lorentzon is also a co-founder of the company. He is the person who owns most shares after Daniel Ek. Martin Lorentzon owns 24 million shares of the company which 13% including the warrants. If they are excluded he owns 12% of the shares. 

Now let’s take a look at the top institutional shareholders of the company.

Baillie Gifford

This company is an investment management firm that makes capital investments in companies around the world. It owns nearly 11.8% of the company. 

Tencent Music Entertainment

Tencent Music Entertainment is the biggest music company in China. It is owned by Tencent Holdings which is also known for its famous path-breaking battle royale game PUBG. Tencent Music Entertainment owns 9.1% of the total shares in the company.

Morgan Stanley

It is a financial services and investment banking company that was founded in the United States. It has also invested in companies like Square and Airbnb. Morgan Stanley owns nearly 7.3% of the total shares. 

Sony Music Entertainment

Sony Music Entertainment is a well-known name in the music industry. The company has announced a partnership with Spotify in the year 2015. Due to this partner, Spotify became Sony’s exclusive music streaming platform on Sony’s PlayStation consoles. This is the reason Sony allows gamers to play music through their consoles using Spotify while they are playing video games. Sony Music Entertainment owns a little less than 5% of the total shares of the company. 


These are the people and institutions who own top shares in Spotify. The user base of this music streaming service is increasing with each passing day. Spotify has more than 50 million songs in almost every language. It also has more than 700,000 podcasts. The number is of users and songs is only going to increase over the years. To learn more about the company you read the business model of Spotify. You can also find out who owns other popular companies by reading other Zeen articles. Click here if you want to know who owns WhatsApp.

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