Mark your calendars: Spotify will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on April 3.
The big date was revealed Thursday during Spotify’s first “investor day,” with full-year financial guidance to be issued on March 26.
“For us, going public has never been about the pomp or circumstance of it all,” CEO Daniel Ek told those watching on or tuned in via a live stream. And there absolutely, positively won’t be any IPO parties.
In its recently-published prospectus, Spotify boasted 159 million monthly active users at the end of 2017, with 71 million of those converted to premium subscriptions. Those figures should climb after the recent announcement Spotify would roll out in South Africa, Israel and Vietnam. During the investor day, Ek also revealed the company licensed more than 35 million tracks and employed 3,500 employees.
The streaming giant won’t actually issue any new shares or raise money in its IPO, rather its existing stakeholders – which include the music majors and Merlin, the independent digital rights agency – can offer their shares to investors, a practice known as a direct listing. By some estimates, Spotify’s value will reach or even surpass US$20 billion.
“The traditional model for taking a company public just isn’t a very good fit for us,” Ek said during the presentation, eschewing a Wall Street look for a casual t-shirt, blazer and white sneakers combo.
Also, Spotify’s controversial “freemium” model won’t be abandoned. According to Variety, chief product officer Gustav Sodorstrom spelled it out with three solid reasons: “One: it reaches the millions of consumers who are still on the fence about paying for music, which brings them into our ecosystem. Two: It allows us to learn from the biggest possible group of music fans in the world. And three: Once they have Spotify on their phone, car speaker and devices, music simply becomes a much bigger part of their lives, and the more they engage, the more likely they are to discover that music is an important part of their life worth paying for.”
As previously reported, the Sweden-originated tech firm has hired Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Allen & Co as financial advisers for its stock market listing.