“Back in Spotify’s early days, when the company was just a dozen people in a small office in Stockholm, Daniel Ek, a co-founder, liked to compare it to Apple and Google,” writes Ben Sisario in Saturday’s (3/31) New York Times. “On Tuesday, in a ritual of success for any start-up, Spotify’s shares will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange…. Underscoring the company’s self-image as a disrupter, it has shunned the usual circus of an initial public offering in favor of a rarely used—and potentially risky—process known as a direct listing, in which no new stock is issued and insiders can begin selling their stash on Day 1. Spotify’s path ahead, though, is far from clear. The company has never turned a profit…. Spotify predicts that by the end of 2018, it will have up to 96 million subscribers and $6.5 billion in revenue…. Streaming has also brought about a shift in the business itself, transforming its underlying financial model and rewriting the rules for how hits are made…. [In] the so-called freemium model … users can listen to any song free with advertising, or pay $10 a month to remove the ads.”

Posted April 4, 2018