nsucurrent.com April 26, 2018

Spotify IPO set for April

16 March 2018, 05:00 | Shelley Chandler

Spotify launched its music streaming service in South Africa

Spotify lands in SA

Stepping up the South African market is taking place at a time when Spotify is preparing for direct listing of its shares in the New York Stock Exchange, allowing investors and employees to sell their securities without the company raising new capital or renting banks from Wall Street to help with the IPO. The company's SVP offered up some insight into the health of its music streaming service.

Led by 35-year-old Chief Executive Daniel Ek, wearing jeans, white t-shirt and a dark blazer, executives said Spotify would prioritize growth over profits to fend off big rivals Apple and Amazon.com, while also seeing a clear path to making money.

The music streaming service Spotify has told investors it can become profitable and fend off bigger rivals such as Apple and Amazon, as it announced its shares will begin trading on the NY stock exchange on 3 April. The service has 159 million users, with 71 Million of them being paid users.

That makes it the market leader, ahead of Apple with 38 million paying users.

Apple, Spotify, Google and other services charge around $9.99 a month for music subscriptions.

Ek portrayed Spotify as an underdog not tied to a major technology company, and that its strategy is to be a ubiquitous music service across phones, smart speakers, and desktops from various makers.

Because it is not issuing any new shares, it has not set a listing price - which can be used to determine the valuation of a company.

"Unlike earlier music piracy services that destroyed value for music industry revenues with each share, Spotify created a viral loop that increased the value of the market and network with each new user".

The direct listing is critical to alleviating Spotify's losses, which are driven by financing costs, and will enable all late-stage investors to convert debt holdings into equity.

However, according to Reuters estimates the business is valued at roughly $19bn. They also revealed that Spotify would provide full-year financial guidance on March 26.

"Operating losses have grown with revenue, but the trend towards profitability is clear when you look at operating losses as a percentage of revenue", the company said in the presentation in NY.

Will Spotify's IPO be a hit?

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