Spotify's Direct Listing: What to Expect

Spotify's Direct Listing: What to Expect

Spotify's Direct Listing: What to Expect

Pedestrians walk past a banner with the Spotify logo on it as the company lists its stock on the New York Stock Exchange with a direct listing in New York City on April 3.

The Swedish platform which has helped make streaming the most popular way to listen to music in parts of the world estimated the company's value to be as much as $23.4 billion. More than 70 million people now pay Spotify an average of about $5 a month to access 35 million songs, plus playlists and podcasts.

The error was corrected 15 minutes later with the NYSE raising the right flag.

After several hours of anticipation, Spotify's shares traded as high as $169 before falling back slightly. "On the other hand, Spotify's stock price could surge if its well-known brand name triggers a deluge of buying interest", write Alexander Osipovich and Maureen Farrell for the Wall Street Journal. However, it does give Spotify a currency it can use for acquisitions, and also allows the company to raise money by selling additional shares in the future. However, this also means that pressure will increase on the management and performance of the company as investors will expect swift progress.

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As of January, Spotify had 70 million subscribers, compared with Apple Music's 36 million. It accounts for 40% of the global market for music sharing.

"[Revenue is] up from €746m in 2013 to a predicted range of between €4.9bn and €5.3bn past year", writes The Guardian.

Spotify's growth has been matched by increasing losses.

Paul Verna, eMarketer principal analyst, was bullish on the company's prospects. The stock market has also been volatile recently with the Dow Jones industrial average falling more than 450 points, or almost 2 percent, Monday. "Previous year the industry hit its highest revenue mark in a decade, and it was led by streaming, mostly subscription-based", he said.

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There's also another significant difference between Spotify's direct listing and the traditional IPO approach. It surpass Apple Music, Pandora, Google Play Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, Tidal and iHeart Radio, among others.

Fortunately Spotify's execs were not present for the flag flap.

Spotify's first trade actually did not take place until about 12:45 p.m. EDT today, more than three hours after the opening bell, breaking the record set by Alibaba for the latest first trade in NYSE history.

Daniel Ek, the chief executive of streaming service Spotify, is clearly a master of understatement.

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