Spotify files for direct listing of up to $1 billion; claims 71 million paying subscribers; lost $1.5 billion last year

“Music streaming service Spotify filed for a direct listing of up to $1 billion with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, becoming the first major company in the recent past to do so,” Reuters reports. “A direct listing is an unconventional way to pursue an IPO and will help Spotify list without the need to raise new capital or hire a Wall Street bank or broker to underwrite the offering.”

“Launched in 2008, Sweden’s Spotify is the biggest global music streaming company,” Reuters reports. “In its filing, the company said it has 71 million premium subscribers… By comparison, Apple Music, which was launched in 2015, has 36 million paying subscribers.”

“The company is seeking to list its ordinary shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ‘SPOT,'” Reuters reports. “Revenue for Spotify, which is present in more than 60 countries, came in at 4.09 billion euros ($4.99 billion) in 2017, compared with 2.95 billion euros, a year earlier. Its operating loss widened to 378 million euros from 349 million euros a year earlier.”

Read more in the full article here.

“The company posted a loss of $1.5 billion in 2017, $1 billion of which was from a non-recurring expense due to convertible notes from a transaction with Tencent in December 2017,” Michelle Castillo reports for CNBC. “It had an operating loss of $461.3 million last year, and $425.9 million in 2016.”

“Spotify’s initial offering of shares will not be underwritten, meaning there is no set price set by underwriters which will inform opening trades on the New York Stock Exchange,” Castillo reports. “Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Allen & Company are advising Spotify on the offering.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Roping in the suckers while the roping’s still good.

Tick-tock, Spotify. Tick-tock.

You’d have to be stupid to subscribe to Spotify when it has 33% fewer tracks than Apple Music for the same price. Apple Music boasts a catalog of 45 million songs; Spotify has a mere subset of just 30 million. Don’t be stupid. If you’re still subscribing to Spotify, it’s past time for you to cancel it and upgrade to Apple Music. (See also: How to move your Spotify playlists to Apple Music.)MacDailyNews, February 6, 2017

Spotify is a poor man’s Apple Music. The demographics in this race, as ever, greatly favor Apple in the long run. — MacDailyNews, January 3, 2018

Apple Music poised to knock off Spotify – February 12, 2018
Apple Music was always going to win – February 6, 2018
Apple Music on track to overtake Spotify, become No. 1 streaming service in U.S. this summer – February 4, 2018
Apple Music and Spotify now account for the majority of music consumption in the UK – January 3, 2018
Spotify files for its IPO – January 3, 2018
Spotify hit with $1.6 billion lawsuit from music publisher – January 2, 2018
Watch out Spotify and Apple Music, here comes Amazon – December 18, 2017
Spotify leads call for investigation into ‘troubling’ Apple and Google app store practices – May 5, 2017
Apple Music passes Pandora and Spotify in mobile usage – March 29, 2017
Spotify hits 50 million paid subscribers – March 3, 2017
Apple Music surpasses 20 million paid members 17 months after launch – December 6, 2016
Oh ok, Spotify listeners are upgrading to Apple Music – July 19, 2015
Spotify CEO claims to be ‘ok’ with Apple Music – June 9, 2015


  1. So they lose more money than they did the previous year even excluding the one time charge, and they still somehow get positive press? What the living fuck is wrong with these financial reporters.

  2. On the one hand, I love Spotify’s free service. I don’t mind the ads — it’s certainly better than listening to FM radio — and I can listen to virtually any album, or artist, out there.

    On the other hand, I’m not sure I want to pay ANYONE to listen to music on a subscription basis. I like the original iTunes model of buying songs and albums. Don’t see the need to change, frankly,

    1. I had the same mindset. I tried Apple Music free for three months, and I cannot imagine not having it anymore.

      I have a collection of around 300 CDs (mostly classical, some jazz). It has been collecting dust for a few years now, as literally every one of those albums is on Apple Music. More importantly, I have access to the largest music catalogue in the world, which I can stream, or download to my devices, at any time, without limits.

      A few years ago, I was working on Mozart’s “Requiem” with my ensemble. I had a recording of it on CD, but wanted to hear different performances of it. Apple Music had over 80 recordings, from Jordi Saval conducting his Concert de Nations, to Karl Böhm and Vienna Philharmonic, and everything in between.

      For me, Apple Music is an indispensable treasure trove for research. Nothing else matches it, as nothing else has such a vast catalogue. It has virtually every commercial recording ever made in the world. I can’t imagine not having it anymore.

  3. I just switched from Apple Music to Spotify Premium because 1) I gave up trying to train Apple Music radio to my music tastes. It just wasn’t getting it, mixing moods and genres in undesirable ways. I was like, “where’s my Pandora when I need it” way too often. 2) Spotify’s public playlists are a pretty groovy way of discovering music. 3) Spotify works with Alexa/Sonos.

  4. As a subscriber to both services–you had better hope for all our sake’s that Spotify continues to thrive. They are a superior service to Iovine Apple Music hands down. And if Spotify ever does goes away, the already below average Iovine Music experience will have no competition–no push to improve.

  5. When you are a private company, you make your own strategic decisions, and you can plan years ahead. When you go public, your strategic decisions are often hostage to the shareholders’ “what have you done for me lately” mindset, which requires stock to go north in every single quarter, damn the torpedoes.

    When Spotify changes its course (and it will) from strategically acquiring subscribers to generating profit (and stock growth), it will become very difficult for it to compete with companies with much deeper pockets (Apple and Google), if the overriding goal is the next quarterly report and guidance.

  6. There is only one single advantage Spotify has over Apple Music: user interface.

    There was a time when Apple had a very long lead over anyone else in building intuitive, simple, elegant user interfaces. Something happened along the way, and at least part of Apple’s UI team no longer knows how to do this. Apple Music carries the dreadful legacy of iTunes, which seems the red-headed stepchild of Apple UI philosophy…

  7. This is a desperate Spotify. I can’t imagine they actually want to go public. They loose a lot of control. They need a quick cash infusion but I don’t see this saving them as the issue is the cost of doing business with record labels. Doesn’t matter how good something is vs the competition, if it doesn’t make money…. Spotify has yet to produce a road map that shows they will be profitable in the future. Until they do that, it is not a safe investment.

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