Spotify's CEO may not want to make a big deal out of his company's stock market debut, but the New York Stock Exchange is adding some flashiness. On Tuesday, the NYSE hung a Swiss flag outside of the building. One would think it was celebrating Spotify's heritage. But as Löfstedt shared in his tweet with the laughing tears emoji and two flag emojis, the NYSE chose the wrong flag. Spotify is based in Stockholm, Sweden; not Switzerland.
Shares in music streaming firm Spotify have surged after trading publicly for the first time on Tuesday in one of the year's most anticipated market debuts. The stock opened at $165.90 (£118) - more than a quarter higher than the $132 guide price set by the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. That values the Swedish firm at about $29.5bn - far more than the roughly $21bn value of Twitter. The jump reflects healthy investor demand for shares in Spotify. The company used an unconventional process to launch on public markets: instead of issuing new shares, early investors sold existing holdings.
The music streaming service Spotify has told investors it can become profitable and fend off bigger rivals such as Apple and Amazon, as it announced its shares will begin trading on the New York stock exchange on 3 April. Executives of the 12-year-old company said it had a user base of more than 100 million, with a higher percentage of paid subscribers than "freemium" listeners, who get music streamed free with ads, which is helping to drive more revenue to performers and copyright holders. Spotify's co-founder and CEO, Daniel Ek, framed the launch as an attempt to save the music business from the effects of piracy as users increasingly use curated services like Spotify as a way not just to sample music but to discover it. Spotify said subscriber growth gave the company a clear path to profitability as revenue grew 39% to €4.09bn ($5.03bn, £3.61bn) in 2017 from €2.95bn ($3.63bn, £2.6bn) in 2016. But net financing costs of €855m ($1.05bn, £755m) pushed up operating losses to €378m ($465m, £334m) from €349m ($429m, £308m).
Spotify already had a variety of content for young listeners, but with the help of educational initiatives Too Small to Fail and Vroom, the streaming service has revised that lineup. The newly revamped "Kids and Family" category features playlists that focus on daytime routines, activities and more. There are options for playtime, bedtime and traveling, just to name a few. Between songs, a collection of celebrities provide tips for other activities to further help build vocabulary. Voice prompts will feature Fantasia, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Wiz Khalifa, Tyler Perry, Juanes, Diego Torres, Busy Philipps and more.
Spotify Technology SA moved past a slump that hit early in the pandemic, as customers collectively spent more time listening to the service than before Covid-19 shutdowns. The music-streaming giant added more users than expected in the most recent quarter and said consumption habits have normalized, with in-car listening hours--which had fallen with time spent commuting--exceeding their pre-pandemic peak. Listening on home devices, which exploded during lockdowns, also remained high. At the close of the quarter ended Sept. 30, Spotify had 320 million monthly active users, higher than its guidance. Paying subscribers, its most lucrative type of customer, grew to 144 million, at the high end of the company's forecast.