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Spotify IPO goes live today

Posted on Tuesday, April 03 2018 @ 10:44:56 CEST by

Spotify logo
Amidst the recent selloff of tech shares, Spotify will make its highly anticipated stock market debut later today. Shares of the streaming music service will start trading today on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "SPOT".

The reference price for Spotify shares was set at $132. With 184 million outstanding shares, this implies a valuation of over $24.28 billion and various analysts predict shares could soar to as much as $200-$250. Seeking Alpha writer Gary Alexander calculated that at the top-end valuation mark of $41.4 billion and based on 2017 subscriber figures, Spotify would have a market value per subscriber of $583. That compares to $120 in annual revenue per subscriber.

Spotify was founded in April 2006 in Stockholm, Sweden and was officially launched in October 2008. The service quickly picked up steam and captured millions of customers thanks to its freemium model. Users can listen to music for free, but need to pay a monthly fee to get access to the Premium, advertising-free, and more feature-rich version. The service has 157 million active users and has 71 million paid subscribers. It's available in 65 markets and has over 35 million available songs. Whether you're looking for some music to chill while doing your work, or need some relaxing tunes while playing online casinos, Spotify definitely has something to suit your needs.

Shares of the streaming service will start trading when New York opens later today but there are several unusual aspects about this IPO. Spotify leveled the playing field by opting for a direct listing, which gives small investors almost equal access to shares than professionals. No underwriters were hired, which saved Spotify millions, and the company also refused to do a typical roadshow to build demand for its stock.

All these elements will make it very interesting to see how Spotify will be received by the market, especially given the recent lull in the stock market. The Nasdaq index slipped 2.74 percent on Monday and is down 0.48 percent year-to-date. Initial trading in Spotify shares is expected to be very volatile.


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