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47. Spotify

Commercial music streaming service

Daniel Ek, co-founder and CEO of Spotify
Source: Spotify
Daniel Ek, co-founder and CEO of Spotify

Founders: Martin Lorentzon, Daniel Ek
Date launched: 2006
Funding: $537.8 million
Industries disrupted: Internet radio, music streaming

Spotify, one of the most popular music streaming services, has 60 million active users worldwide, and 15 million of them are paying customers. For $10 a month, they get an ad-free premium service that offers song selection and the ability to cache music for later listening on laptops, tablets and mobile devices.

The free service—which features ads—offers unlimited listening and Internet radio. The nine-year-old Swedish company has raised more than $500 million from Technology Crossover Ventures, Coca-Cola and Fidelity Ventures and is reportedly about to close another $400 million round of financing that includes money from Goldman Sachs Group.

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The company has a host of competitors, including Pandora and a more recent rival—Tidal—owned in part by rapper Jay Z. Manhattan Venture Partners estimates that Spotify had revenues of $1.3 billion in 2014.

"Spotify really is the only music player you’ll ever need. Our users don’t want to have to switch between music players, but they do want to take their playlists with them wherever they go." -Daniel Ek, co-founder and CEO

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