Spotify IPO set for April

by Dominic Parks March 16, 2018, 5:02
Spotify IPO set for April

The long presentation - which actually took a 10-minute break after the first hour - featured cofounder and CEO Daniel Ek along with senior executives Paul Vogel, Seth Farbman and Gustav Sodorstrom dropping some key data points amid long speeches and artist-heavy videos plugging the company, its services and its future. It also has 92 million users of its free, advertising-supported service, which it says delivers a constant stream of converts to its paid offering.

Spotify launched its music streaming service in South Africa, marking its entry into the continent, where smartphones are gaining momentum and telecom infrastructure is improving.

Pieter Swaelens speaking on behalf of BEA Music, said, "The peak of paid streaming music services has certainly not yet been reached in Belgium".

Spotify also warned investors it faces a variety of risks.

Spotify is twice the size of Apple Music, its closest competitor in the streaming music market, the Sweden-based startup said last month in a regulatory filing for its IPO.

Now the company boasts over 159 million monthly active users and 71 million premium subscribers, and is valued at nearly $20 billion. At the same time, net financing costs of 855 million euros pushed up operating losses to 378 million euros from 349 million euros. But it lost $461 million previous year.

That makes it the market leader, ahead of Apple with 38 million paying users.

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"The opportunity here is about growth for us and growth for everyone", Cue said, adding that a huge gap exists between the number of people who can afford to pay for music services and those who do.

Ek portrayed Spotify as an underdog not tied to a major technology company.

Because the company will not issue any new shares, it did not specify a listing price. Based on private transactions, it is valued at roughly $19bn, according to Reuters calculations. It said it plans for its shares to start trading April 3 and will provide financial guidance on March 26.

McCarthy spelled out Spotify's long-term operating targets for generating sustained free cash flow, with annual revenue growth between 25 and 35 percent and gross margin between 30 and35 percent - ambitious for a loss-making company.

He said it was not Spotify's mission to disrupt the music industry or replace anyone.

Will Spotify's IPO be a hit?


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