Netflix gives Spotify screen time with new documentary series

Netflix will be launching a scripted series about Spotify and how the Swedish start-up evolved to be one of the biggest music services in the world. According to Netflix, the limited series will be based on a book titled "Spotify Untold", and will be produced by Yellow Bird UK.

The series will center around young Swedish tech entrepreneur, Daniel Ek, and his partner Martin Lorentzon, and how these two individuals revolutionised an industry by offering free and legal streamed music around the world. "It is a story about how hard convictions, unrelenting will, access and big dreams can help small players challenge the status quo by evolving the way we can all listen to music," the media release said.

Tesha Crawford, director of International Originals Northern Europe at Netflix: “The founding tale of Spotify is a great example of how a local story can have a global impact. We are really excited about bringing this success story to life and we look forward to continuing our great collaboration with director Per-Olav Sørensen and the team at Yellow Bird UK.”

"I’m thrilled to be making this timely and entertaining series for Netflix. The story of how a small band of Swedish tech industry insiders transformed music – how we listen to it and how it’s made – is truly a tale for our time. Not only is this a story about the way all our lives have changed in the last decade, it’s about the battle for cultural and financial influence in a globalised, digitised world," said Berna Levin, executive producer, Yellow Bird.

The Swedish and English language series will be developed and produced by Yellow Bird UK, with Levin serving as executive producer and Luke Franklin as producer.

In Singapore, both Netflix and Spotify were among the 100 foreign overseas services that will be charged Goods and Services Tax (GST) on their sales of digital services to Singapore consumers with effect from 1 January 2020. According to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), more than 100 overseas digital service providers have registered for GST under Singapore’s Overseas Vendor Registration (OVR) regime.

This comes a year after the Parliament passed a Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill that allows the government to collect GST from overseas services from the year 2020. Several netizens raised questions if services such as Netflix, iflix and Spotify would fall under the amended bill. When contacted by Marketing then, a Netflix spokesperson said the video streaming platform pays relevant taxes where applicable and look forward to further details.

Netflix is also a favourite among Singaporean consumers. For the second year in a row, Netflix had the strongest brand advocates amongst Singaporean consumers. According to YouGov’s brand advocacy rankings, the subscription video-on-demand service topped the list once again with a score of 79.8. Ervin Ha, head of data products explained that even with the introduction of new subscription video-on-demand services in an increasingly saturated market, Netflix has managed to come up on top as the most recommended brand in the nation for two years running.