Spotify slides off its debut price after 'novel' direct offering
04 April 2018, 01:30 | Santos Harmon
Tyler Roi Conde
Spotify has a unique case due to its stock structure.
Spotify's public listing is being closely watched by other companies, because the Swedish company structured its offering to allow existing investors to sell directly to the public without listing shares of its own. But until then let's step back and admire this whole thing for the zeitgeist-ian work of art that it really is; Spotify is about to unleash the first authentically Millennial IPO.
Some 27 million shares had changed hands by late afternoon.
Since launching its streaming music service a decade ago, the Stockholm-founded company has overcome heavy initial resistance from big record labels and among some major music artists to transform how the industry makes money. In 2014, it attracts 10 million paying members from among its 40 million active users. Taylor Swift released a new "Delicate" music video on Spotify last month. However, as The Guardian points out, it's hard to value the music streaming firm because in its 12 years of existence, it's never turned a profit, despite the fact that it now has 157 million listeners, of which 71 million are paying subscribers. Shares for Facebook, Netflix and Google's parent company Alphabet also rose slightly today, following weeks of uncertainty.
"The attraction of the music-streaming service probably lies in Spotify's strong market share and rapidly growing revenues", Khalaf said.
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The size of the Stockholm-founded company's market debut puts it on a par with Snap Inc, which went public past year, and was smaller than only Facebook Inc and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd among recent tech stock listings.
Spotify is basically trying to recreate the secondary market activity that happened before it went public.
In a public letter published ahead of its unorthodox listing in New York, Chief Executive Daniel Ek cautioned employees and fans that "Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we stumble" and "I have no doubt that there will be ups and downs".
"Spotify is not raising capital, and our shareholders and employees have been free to buy and sell our stock for years".
In fact, unlike other IPOs, the Spotify founder didn't even ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. Normally, companies spend their day doing interviews on the trading floor touting why their stock is a good investment.
Investors, meanwhile, will not know how successful the company's listing has been for another week or two, because of the volatility in the share price, said Coffee.
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