Probably, all of you should go to that famous application you all have memberships for and search for ‘The Playlist‘ to open the show’s music list. That’s what I did while writing this review for the Spotify series.
Originally aired on October 13, 2022, on Netflix, The Playlist; also known as the Spotify Series, stands out with both its film music and its approach to capturing the filming and the story. This short series, consisting of 6 episodes, which has a documentary-like vibe, not only tells the story of Spotify’s co-founder Daniel Ek but also narrates the stories of all the elements that constitute a startup independently.
Firstly, I must mention that although most of the series is set in Sweden, we either didn’t see any snow or saw very little of it, which I find unrealistic for a country mostly covered in snow throughout the year.
Why The Playlist Episodes Tell Different Stories
When you watch the first episode, you might think that things are progressing too fast, and that’s entirely normal, as it is indeed the case. The series re-establishes Spotify in each episode. Therefore, in the first episode, we see Daniel Ek’s perspective on the founder’s past, his partial family structure, his ambition in the business world, and his quest for innovation.
Quitting his job and attempting to start a mini-startup on his own, Daniel goes through a long, somewhat painful process, but they don’t exactly tell us what it is. We can say it’s an app that improves personalized advertisements. He sells it for millions (whether it’s in Euros or Swedish Krona is not specified in the series) and could have transitioned to a perfect life, but he looks for new ideas and a bigger project.
Right from the start, the idea of Spotify emerges as an alternative to Pirate Bay – a site for completely free music downloads over the Internet. They agree with Martin Lorentzon as a partner and set off.
However, in each episode, we see almost every event in a different way. This is because the series focuses on events from the perspective of the relevant individuals rather than depicting the actual story. So, we see two versions of events – one according to Daniel about their meetings and another according to Martin. This pattern also applies to legal matters, coding, and the industry.
Is Bobbi T Real?
After watching the series, the question many people first ask is whether Bobbi T is real or not.
Bobbi T is Daniel Ek’s childhood friend and involved in music. They briefly touch upon her struggle to become visible and how Spotify has contributed to her. Although we see this character in some scenes, she is actually not real. She is a purely fictional supporting role created for the series. She doesn’t have much impact on the main storyline. We only see her at the beginning and the end.
What Happens in the Last Episode of the Spotify Series
The last episode starts in the year 2025. When I saw this, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a mistake in writing. However, they crafted the storyline this way. I don’t want to delve too much into the content of the episode. It seemed to me that Spotify made a partial conscience-soothing post with the series. One thing is clear: Spotify holds a large share of the market. Nevertheless, artists are not satisfied with the share allocated to them. The Spotify series points out companies like Sony as the reason for this.
The last episode made me feel that Daniel Ek wants to allocate more money to the artists. This shooting might have been a simulation. Perhaps it was an underlying message, but even if it wasn’t, I think it could have been done without it.
Overall Impression of the Series
In the series, we can clearly see a part of the Swedish culture, the idea of socialism, which is an integral part of it. The effort to think humanely and the rights given to individuals highlight the diversity in the country. Of course, the series doesn’t portray a Swedish company in a negative light.
When examining each character, a shooting strategy that reflects the character’s inner world has been applied. For instance, in “The Law,” I genuinely felt the character’s constriction regarding the legal aspect. It was quite impressive.
However, only conveying what individuals say leaves some characters’ stories with gaps. For example, I would have liked to delve deeper into Andreas Ehn’s story as the person in charge of software. Similarly, it would have been nice to see what Martin is up to these days.
In summary, I watched a good but not extraordinary documentary drama. It made me rethink success. I recommend it to all of you.