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2017 IPO Prospects: Spotify To Go Public Soon

by Sramana Mitra

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Summary

  • Spotify revenue for fiscal 2016 grew by an impressive 52% to 2.93 billion euros ($3.5 billion) with paid subscriptions accounting for 90% of the revenue.
  • However, profitability remains a concern, thanks to increasing licensing and operation costs.
  • Losses in 2016 grew 200% or doubled to 557 million euros ($660 million).
  • To avoid the heartache of an IPO, Spotify has reportedly opted for a direct listing.

According to Goldman Sachs, the music industry will hit $41 billion in revenue by 2030 driven heavily by streaming revenue. Benefitting from this trend is Billion-Dollar Unicorn Spotify (Private:MUSIC), which is reportedly gearing up for a direct listing.

Spotify’s Journey

Stockholm, Sweden,-based Spotify was founded in 2006 by serial entrepreneur Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon. The two developed and released the Spotify Swedish music streaming app in 2008.

Its app provides listeners with access to millions of digital music files from record labels and artists. Listeners also can use Spotify to create, share, and edit playlists with other users. It is also a music discovery site that provides music recommendations based on listening history and even creates a random playlist related to preferred artists. Besides mobile apps, Spotify also has expanded its market reach through tie-ups with companies like Sony (NYSE:SNE) to allow listeners to stream music through the PlayStation.

Since its release, the app has seen rapid adoption. Today, it has over 140 million regular listeners of which 60 million are paid subscribers around the world.

Last week, Spotify unveiled a new app called Spotify for Artists. It is a one-stop mobile version of its existing artist-centric dashboard client for tracking real-time statistics for new music, updating profiles, and gathering metrics about who is actually listening.

Spotify’s Acquisitions

This year, Spotify has acquired four companies for about 39 million euros ($42 million) in a combination of cash and stock.

In May, it acquired French AI startup Niland for its machine learning tools. The Niland team joined Spotify’s research and development division in New York as part of the buyout.

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