Spotify’s rollercoaster ride is packing some thrills for shareholders. The streaming giant’s share price on the New York Stock Exchange has climbed to an all-time high, pushing its market cap to more than US$30 billion for the first time.
The company’s stock hit $171.48 at the close of trading last week and fared even better in Monday trading to close at $172.37 after briefly hitting 172.93. That’s well up from the initial price of $149 back in April 3, when Spotify began trading via a direct listing and was valued at $26.37 billion when the markets closed.
The share price had a previous high of $171.23 on May 2, but a sharp tumble followed soon after as the Swedish-originated company announced it had added 4 million new paying subscribers to its premium on-demand music service in the March quarter, in line with expectations. Its lowest point since going public is 135.51.
So why the lift we’re seeing right now?
It’s possibly a knock-on from the news that Spotify has begun to ink direct, non-exclusive licensing deals with indie artists and managers. According to an exclusive report published in Billboard, management can now secure advances in the six-figure region for agreeing to directly license a certain number of tracks to Spotify.
On the flip side, the managers and artists earn a royalty rate equal to a 50% revenue share per stream, down about 4 percentage points from the cut the majors in the U.S. typically get per stream.
This type of dealmaking puts Spotify in a position where it behaves like a label, though it’s not actually buying the copyrights it distributes and it’s doing so without dangling the sort of cash which comes to the table in a bidding war.
As previously reported, Merlin has sold its stock in Spotify while the three majors have offloaded big chunks of their shareholding.