Netflix’s drama series ‘The Playlist’ centers around the origin and emergence of Spotify, one of the renowned music streaming platforms. The miniseries traces the history of the streaming service through the POVs of the key people who involve in the creation of the same, including Petra Hansson, the legal head of the company. In reality, as the show depicts, Petra forsook her job in one of the renowned Swedish law firms to join Daniel Ek’s company even before its launch. Since the show highlights the significance of the lawyer’s involvement in the company’s emergence and growth, we have dived into her current whereabouts. Let us share what we know about the same!
Who is Petra Hansson?
In 2007, Petra Hansson was a lawyer working at Mannheimer Swartling, one of the internationally renowned Swedish law firms. Around a year before Spotify’s launch, Petra joined the company and started to represent the streaming service in negotiations with music labels/companies with her colleague Niklas Ivarsson. Petra had a distinctive voice among the “tech geeks” who formulated Spotify. “Sensitive to the needs of the music industry, she had a reputation for being a hard-ass, corporate-style lawyer who would clamp down on their impulsive ideas, like letting users import their own downloaded MP3 files into the Spotify client,” Sven Carlsson and Jonas Leijonhufvud wrote in ‘Spotify Untold,’ the source material of the show.
When Daniel Ek, co-founder of Spotify, envisioned his streaming service as a “free to all” platform, Petra made it clear to him that a paid version of the platform is quintessential with the help of her colleagues, which paved the way for the creation of Spotify’s ad-free premium version. In 2009, Petra joined Niklas and Ken Parks to continue negotiations to launch Spotify in the United States. She played a key role in negotiating with Edgar Bronfman Jr., the then-CEO of Warner Music Group, to make Warner’s catalog available on Spotify in Europe.
Petra was the general counsel of Spotify for a significant period. However, her role changed by 2013, the year the streaming platform recognized the need to launch a free version of its mobile app. The talks at the time were led by Ken Parks, who became the head of content. Although Petra was still involved in the company, she had stepped down from the position of general counsel to serve as the lawyer overseeing Spotify’s licensing talks.
Where is Petra Hansson Now?
Petra Hansson left Spotify in 2017, after serving the company for 10 years at the streaming platform’s Stockholm headquarters. “Spotify has lost one of its standout executives. Negotiating with Petra always meant you were negotiating with a grown-up,” a senior source at the company told Music Business Worldwide in the wake of her departure. After her departure from Spotify, Petra focused on serving as an investor and advisor of startups and other companies. In February 2019, Petra joined Tracklib, a Stockholm-based sample licensing startup that offered 70,000 tracks to download for sampling at the time, as a member of its advisory board along with her former Spotify colleague Niklas Ivarsson.
“Petra and Niklas have decades of experience between them in the areas that are most vital to us,” Pär Almqvist, CEO of Tracklib, said in a statement. In June 2020, Pär Almqvist said in an interview that Petra has been “fantastic” and helping the company in matters of legal and commercial nature. As per sources, the lawyer currently resides in the Greater Stockholm Metropolitan Area in Sweden. She has chosen to keep her personal life private as well.
Read More: Where is Netflix’s The Playlist Filmed?