Headline, December 12 2022/ ''' '' SPOTIFY -SPOTLIGHT- SPECIAL '' '''


 SPECIAL '' '''

SPOTLIGHT ON SPOTIFY IN LATEST TECHNOLOGY VILLAIN SHOW : ' The Playlist ' lurches into the future to pass judgment on the platform.

Daniel Ek, a founder of Spotify and its current chief executive, sits in front of a U.S. Senate committee hearing. OR rather : A Swedish actor playing Ek sits in front of the Senate hearing, as imagined by a Swedish production designer.

A fictitious senator named Landy is grilling him, hard. ''Your business model just doesn't work for musicians, does it? she asks. Her tone makes it obvious that she already knows the answer Ek would give if he were willing to tell the truth.

As she peppers him with facts and figures about Spotify's market share and artists' measly cuts of its revenue, Ek tries to fight back, insisting that his streaming service, whatever its shortcomings, is still the best path forward for musicians hoping to make a living from their art.

But the more Landy presses, the more shaken Ek looks, as though he didn't expect the questioning to be so tough.

There is a moment in which it seems he might be considering the possibility that her criticism have merit : Maybe, despite all of his company's rhetoric about freedom for artists, he really is just a new breed of music industry monopolist.

After Ek, the committee calls Bobbi T, a fictional musician and, coincidentally, a childhood friend of Ek's. She is appearing as a representative of Scratch the Record, a musician's advocacy group calling on Spotify to distribute more of its revenue to the artists whose work constitutes the core of its platform.

Her own songs are streamed 200,000 times each month, yet she struggles to get by. She understands, she says, that ''in every generation there are winners and losers.'' But lawmakers, she insists, should be able to tell ''the difference between change and exploitation.'' Ek, sitting in the audience, looks as if he would rather be somewhere, anywhere, else.

These scenes appear in the sixth and final episode of ''The Playlist,'' a new Netflix series that chronicles Spotify's journey from Ek's brainstorm in Stockholm to a worldwide streaming behemoth.

The first five episodes, inspired by a book by two Swedish journalists, have the same narrative shape as basically every show or movie that fictionalizes the real story of a tech start-up. Socially alienated coders with a bold vision? Check. An open-plan office with a foosball table? Check.

Stodgy industry executives who just don't understand the coming sea change [until they're forced to]? Fund-raising woes? Just-in-time software break throughs? Check, check, check.

This final episode, though, abandons the source material completely, zooming a forward into a fictional near-future : Ek, big Senate hearing takes place in the year 2025.

This future may look a lot like the present, but it is in many ways as fanciful as anything on ''Star Trek'' or '' The Jetsons.'' This is a world in which people are moved by the opinions of musicians who aren't megastars, and there's some threat of legislative action that could plausibly help bands replace the lost revenue stream of physical albums.

It's a future in which Spotify is bigger than ever - but battle lines are being drawn, and they're making Daniel Ek sweat.

We love stories about underdogs, who, armed only with the strength of their vision and perseverance, hit it big and change society.

The world of business used to be a little too slow-moving, complex and impersonal for that kind of narrative. But tech start-ups - with their meteoric overnight successes, unconventional young founders and industry-upending products - changed that, creating a new well of David-beats-Goliath stories.

Of course, we now know that many of tech's Davids ended up becoming Goliaths, creating at least as many problems as they ever fixed. Others, we've learned, were merely hucksters, plying their trade at the intersection of fad-oriented ventures capital and loose regulatory structures.

None of this has dimmed our appetite for tech-underdog tales. We still want the fun of seeing David outwit slow, out-of-touch Goliath; it's just that we also want to congratulate ourselves, along the way, for seeing through David's every move.

So we get stories like ''The Dropout,'' which shows us Elizabeth Holmes turning an undergraduate hunch into the company Theranos [before being exposed as fraud], or ''WeCrashed,'' which lets us tag along as Adam Neumann makes WeWork into an international office-space empire [then gets pushed out as the company becomes a financial mess or ''Super Pumped : The Battle for Uber,'' which traces the company's dramatic transformation of urban transit [while stressing the amoral ruthlessness of one of its founders, Travis Kalanick].

We watch these companies dupe and manipulate the world while, sitting at home on our couches, we enjoy the experience of knowing better.

The Honour and serving of the Latest Global Operational Research and Writings on Great Tech companies, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Peter C. Baker.

With respectful dedication to Screenland, Musicians, Music lovers,  and then Students, Professors and Teachers of the world.

See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society - the exclusive ownership of every student in the world : wssciw.blogspot.com and    Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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