Spotify listed on the stock market this week, with an unusual "direct listing" that resulting in shares of the music streaming service being up 12.9% on their first day of trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
Spotify shares opened at $165.90, giving the Stockholm-based company a market value of nearly $30 billion.
Spotify's stock market listing was unusually low key for a 10-year-old company that has 157 million active users including 71 million subscribers, but is still loss-making due to the huge royalties it pays music companies. However, reports suggest that Apple Music isn't far behind Spotify in the U.S. and is expected to surpass 36 million paid subscribers globally by the summer.
The direct listing allows Spotify to avoid some of the frustrations that companies have when listing publicly. The series G late stage venture financing round valued Spotify at $8 billion. Spotify's current chief financial officer, Barry McCarthy, held the same job when Netflix went public and remained in that position until leaving the video service in 2010. "Apple is growing faster than Spotify and has a different business model whereby music does not have to be profitable on a standalone basis", Tinker wrote and predicted $130 per share price for the stock this year. If this works, many companies may use Spotify's IPO as a benchmark. A grand total of 61 per cent of Swedish households (15-74 years) subscribe to at least one service for music or TV streaming (Q4, 2017).
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek declined an invitation to ring the opening bell at NYSE. Instead, we will be working on trying to build, plan, and imagine for the long term.
It's not the first time fraudsters have targeted Spotify-an MBW investigation in February revealed how a Bulgarian playlist-maker scammed the Spotify payout system for months a year ago.
Though in music circles, more attention will focus on if and when the record companies decide to sell the equity they acquired in Spotify as part of their original licensing deals.
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