Did Apple's Steve Jobs harass Spotify's CEO with weird prank phone calls?

A new book claims that back in 2010 Apple's Steve Jobs would make bizarre prank phone calls to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek.

"Spotify Untold," written by Swedish authors Jonas Leijonhufvud and Sven Carlsson, was reportedly based on more than 70 interviews with former top executives, competitors and record company chiefs conducted in London, Los Angeles, New York and Spotify's headquarters in Sweden.

During a stressful time for Spotify's CEO as the company was trying to make inroads in the music streaming space, he apparently confided in a colleague that he believed Jobs was calling him just to breathe deeply on the other end of the line.

Carlsson told Variety that the Jobs anecdote is from a "trusted source," but it's worth noting that Ek himself did not participate in the making of the book.

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Steve Jobs, the late founder and former CEO of Apple. (Reuters)

Steve Jobs, the late founder and former CEO of Apple. (Reuters)

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"Whether Steve Jobs actually called Daniel Ek is something we can’t verify," Carlsson said. "To us, Ek’s claim is as a reflection of how paranoid and anxious he must have felt in 2010, when Spotify was being denied access to the U.S. market, in large part due to pressure from Apple."

According to Variety, the book, which is currently only available in Swedish, contains a range of other revelations — including that Spotify almost acquired Tidal and Soundcloud; that Spotify was courted by Google and Microsoft; and how Spotify scored a partnership with Facebook just before its U.S. launch.

At the time of the alleged prank phone calls, Apple held about 80 percent of the market for digital music distribution in the United States, Carlsson added.

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A new book claims that Apple CEO Steve Jobs prank-called Spotify's CEO in 2010. (AP)

A new book claims that Apple CEO Steve Jobs prank-called Spotify's CEO in 2010. (AP)

The two authors, who hope a U.S. publisher picks up the book to print an English version, said they would be curious to know what Spotify's top executives think of their work.

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