Oct 26, 2017 Viivi Savelius
A digital music service with free on-demand music for consumers that could eventually be turned into paid subscriptions. This unusual business model of a Swedish startup Spotify got the attention of Fred Davis in 2006. Back then, he discovered the potential in Spotify when it was just a powerpoint presentation. The rest is history.
Fred heard about Spotify for the first time when he was working as a senior partner at the leading entertainment/new media law firm called Davis, Shapiro & Lewit (today known as Davis Shapiro Lewit Grabel Leven Granderson & Blake), which he had co-founded in 1997. While Fred was advising digital media companies in establishing new business models, he bumped into Daniel Ek in 2006. At that time, Fred joined the board of Stardoll, a Stockholm-based virtual community website, where Daniel Ek was the Chief Technology Officer.
In the same year, Daniel founded Spotify with Martin Lorentzon, and Fred helped them get started with their business. At first, he tried to help Spotify acquire global music rights. After this did not work out, Fred went with Ek to speak about European licences with the major labels. Since he already had a long career in the music industry, his recommendations helped Spotify in persuading the biggest names, such as Lucian Grainge, Universal Music Group’s CEO. At the end, Spotify managed to get labels to license their first European deals.
At Davis, Shapiro & Lewit, Fred had many other clients, including Last.fm, YouTube, and Hulu. In 2010, he left the firm and co-founded CODE Advisors, a boutique investment banking company with a focus on tech and media. Spotify was one of the first signed clients at CODE Advisors. During the years, Fred has helped many companies to get funding. With his help, it was easier for Spotify to launch in the USA and get capital. Since 2014, Fred has been Partner at The Raine Group. In the same year, he helped save SoundCloud by convincing his partners at The Raine Group to organize an emergency round of funding.
Like his father, Clive Davis, a long-time executive in the record industry, Fred has influenced in the background of many artists. Earlier in his career, he has for example worked as Executive Vice President at EMI Records. Fred has also represented many top artists and bands, such as Kanye West and the Black Eyed Peas.
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