Spotify Shakes up Typical Wall Street Debut With Direct NYSE Listing
Spotify Technology S.A. (SPOT) shares began trading Tuesday on the NYSE, ending the day at $149.01, a 13% gain from its pre-listing price. The Stockholm-based music streaming service started the day up 22% to $165.90, then fell during the afternoon trading session.
The company decided to pass on the typical Wall Street public offering, foregoing the press circuit and even declining to ring the opening bell. Spotify first used a direct listing on the stock exchange to allow the company’s early investors and employees to sell their shares if desired before the stock went public.
Spotify’s founder and CEO Daniel Ek said in a blog post published Monday, “Our focus isn’t on the initial splash. Instead, we will be working on trying to build, plan, and imagine for the long term.”
Spotify has grown to 71 million paid subscribers since launching in Europe in 2008, and in the US in 2011. This is significantly more than the 46 million paid users of its closest competitor, Apple Music. Despite rapid growth, Spotify has yet to turn a profit and a portion of their paid subscribers receive discounted or free trial prices, concerning some observers.
In its filing with the SEC, Spotify claims that it will use the capital raised from its IPO to grow its audience in new markets and expand into more non-music content, like podcasts and spoken word.