Spotify CEO Wealthier Than Any Musician in History?


Daniel Ek, Spotify’s CEO, has a higher net worth than any recording artist in history.



An X user posited in spring 2024 that Daniel Ek, chief executive officer (CEO) of the audio streaming service Spotify, was wealthier than any musician in history. The post stated: 

Did you know the CEO of Spotify is wealthier than any musician in history—and has 4X the net worth of Paul McCartney?

Now you do.

There’s more money in disrupting music than creating it.

The user also posted a screenshot of Google’s estimation for Ek’s net worth at $4.9 billion. That figure is accurate, according to Forbes’ “Real-time Billionaire’s List.” Ek is reported to have $4.9 billion as of 2024. Ek ranks at #646 on the list, with the likes of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos at the top. 

The “Methodology” section of the list stated that information is updated regularly: 

The value of individuals’ public holdings are updated every 5 minutes when respective stock markets are open (there will be a 15-minute delay for stock prices). Individuals whose fortunes are significantly tied to private companies will have their net worths updated once a day. 

In that list, if you refine the search to “music,” you can find only a few musicians listed. The truth is that very few musicians have broken the threshold to become billionaires. Jay-Z, Rihanna and Taylor Swift are the only ones on the Forbes list.

Rihanna was the first female artist to become a billionaire and is still the richest female musician, with a net worth of $1.4 billion. Jay-Z was the first rapper to become a billionaire back in 2019. Swift is the first billionaire to make money solely from music. 

Paul McCartney became the United Kingdom’s first billionaire musician in 2024, according to the Sunday Times “Rich List”, an astonishing feat when compared to the vast number of popular British musicians. 

McCartney’s net worth was estimated at $1.3 billion in that list, the same as Swift’s estimated net worth in the Forbes list, whereas Jay-Z was estimated to have a $2.5 billion net worth in the Forbes list. All of those musicians fell well short of Ek’s net worth. 

Though it may be astonishing to think Ek is richer than any musician in history, it is nonetheless accurate. Until 2019, no musician had reached billionaire status, according to Forbes. Ek has amassed almost $5 billion, making him wealthier than any musician in history. 

For that reason, we have labeled the claim as “True.”

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