Music streaming service Spotify is officially going public and has this week filed a prospectus to sell shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ‘SPOT’.
This is a sign that the music streaming market is maturing and thus beginning to revive the long-struggling music industry.
The public entry is expected to happen in late March or early April, but we don’t know how much shares will cost.
The company has provided a detailed disclosure about its business. The filing shows that Spotify’s revenue for last year was €4.09 billion compared to €2.95 billion the previous year. The losses for last year were also higher at €1.2 billion.
The Swedish company is opting for an unusual process and is well aware of how ‘risky’ its chosen alternative is. It claims that it won’t sell its shares on the stock market but will instead pursue direct listing. Spotify’s existing investors and insiders, like employees, can also trade their shares on the open market.
The company says that it is positioning itself in a benevolent light not just for the music industry but also for the fans. Spotify’s prospectus summary overview states: ‘Our mission is to unlock the potential of human creativity by giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by these creators.’
Spotify is obviously ambitious about its move. But given that it has opted for a direct listing, in addition to some of the obstacles mentioned above, might that harm its debut on the public market and make it volatile?