Who is Petra Hansson? The Playlist follows her journey from a junior at Scandinavia's top law firm to Spotify's legal counsel

The Playlist
Petra Hansson and Gizem Erdogan as her in The Playlist (Images via Billboard and Netflix)

The Playlist is one of those shows that gives one a layered viewing experience. One of the interesting arcs of the show is that of Petra Hansson (Gizem Erdogan), who, for the most part, singlehandedly ensured that Spotify sealed its deals.

Petra Hansson was one of Spotify's head honchos and senior legal figures. She spent over a decade with the music streaming service, and during her time, she helped them accomplish many milestones, thanks to her expertise.

As shown in The Playlist, not much is known about Petra Hansson before her relationship with Spotify

The Netflix miniseries introduces viewers to Hansson in Episode 3, titled The Law, where she is shown as an up-and-coming lawyer at a major Scandinavian law firm. In reality, too, Petra Hansson was a promising employee at Mannheimer Swartling, a firm considered to be the largest in the Swedish legal market.

Hansson was greatly sought after by Spotify a year before its launch, and she eventually joined them as their legal counsel and representative. She subsequently fronted the then-fledgling streaming service during its negotiations with major record labels and companies, and this has been rightly portrayed in The Playlist. While Hansson did tag along with Niklas Ivarsson for all things legal, she came up with something that genuinely helped Spotify take off.

While founder Daniel Ek was inclined towards making Spotify a service that was free for all, Hansson was able to see through the cracks. Eventually, she came up with a plan that ensured sustainability. Depicted wonderfully in The Playlist, Petra Hansson played a fundamental role in the conception of an ad-free concept that we all now know as Spotify Premium.


She also had a significant part to play in Spotify becoming a global phenomenon, holding negotiations alongside other legal figures to help it set foot in the United States. Hansson brokered a deal in 2009 with the then-CEO of Warner Music Group, Edgar Bronfman Jr, making Warner's entire music catalog available for Spotify in Europe.

Where is Petra Hansson now?

The Playlist only follows her journey up until Spotify's launch. However, her relationship with the company changed over time, and her roles ranged from General Counsel to Head of Business Affairs. Hansson and Spotify eventually parted ways in 2017, bringing their decade-long journey to an end. Following her departure, she served as an advisor and investor for several startups and other organizations.

In February 2019, Hansson, along with Spotify's ex Global Head of Licensing, Niklas Ivarsson, became members of the advisory board of Tracklib, a Stockholm-based sample licensing startup. Her input and efforts in assisting the company with its legal and commercial issues were lauded by Tracklib CEO Pär Almqvist in 2020.

Sample licensing startup Tracklib adds two ex-Spotify execs Petra Hansson and Niklas Ivarsson to Advisory Board Tracklib, which claims to be the first service to offer ‘legal, affordable samples at scale’, offers 70,000 tracks to download for sampling.

Petra Hansson has managed to maintain a life of privacy since then, and not much is known about her ventures post-Tracklib. Her exact whereabouts are unknown, but there is speculation that she resides in the Greater Stockholm Metropolitan Area of Sweden. She does not maintain a presence on any social media platform.

All episodes of The Playlist are available for streaming exclusively on Netflix.

Edited by Sayati Das
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