Spotify, the Swedish audio streaming and media services provider, has revolutionized the way we listen to music. With over 345 million active users, it has become a household name in the music industry. But when did this music giant go public? This article will delve into the journey of Spotify’s public listing, the unique method it chose, and the impact it had on the company and the broader market.
The Journey to Going Public
Founded in 2006 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, Spotify quickly gained popularity due to its user-friendly interface and vast music library. However, it wasn’t until April 3, 2018, that Spotify went public. The company chose a unique route to its public listing, which was a significant departure from the traditional Initial Public Offering (IPO).
Direct Listing vs. Traditional IPO
Spotify opted for a Direct Public Offering (DPO), also known as a direct listing. Unlike a traditional IPO, where new shares are created, underwritten, and sold to the public, a DPO allows companies to sell existing shares directly to the public without involving intermediaries. This method was chosen by Spotify to provide equal access to all investors, avoid hefty underwriting fees, and prevent dilution of existing shares.
The Day of the Listing
On the day of the listing, Spotify’s shares started trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ‘SPOT’. The reference price was set at $132 per share, valuing the company at nearly $30 billion. However, the shares opened at $165.90, significantly higher than the reference price, and closed the day at $149.01.
Impact on Spotify
Spotify’s direct listing was a significant event in the company’s history. It provided the company with increased visibility and credibility in the market. However, it also meant increased scrutiny from shareholders and the public. Despite the challenges, Spotify has continued to grow, reaching over 155 million paid subscribers and generating over €7.88 billion in revenue in 2020.
Impact on the Broader Market
Spotify’s successful direct listing paved the way for other tech companies to consider this alternative route to going public. Companies like Slack and Palantir followed suit, opting for a direct listing over a traditional IPO. This trend indicates a shift in how companies view public listings, potentially changing the landscape of the stock market in the future.
Spotify’s journey to going public is a testament to its innovative approach, not just in music streaming, but also in its business strategies. Its decision to opt for a direct listing was a bold move that paid off, providing a blueprint for other tech companies. As Spotify continues to grow and evolve, it will be interesting to see how its decision to go public will influence its future trajectory.
By understanding Spotify’s journey to going public, we gain insights into the strategic decisions companies make when entering the stock market. It also highlights the importance of innovation and adaptability in the ever-changing business landscape.