Spotify, the international music-streaming service, joined the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) public market on Tuesday by an untraditional path. Spotify staked their initial public offering (IPO) on their international record as the leader in music-streaming and the potential market capitalization that comes with over 150 million monthly listeners.
SPOT, Spotify’s NYSE ticker symbol, changed common practice by entering the market without a set price. With reported earnings of $5 billion dollars last year, Spotify forgoed the horse-and-pony show normally necessary to educate investors about the company and the market for their product and services. The company is still operating at a loss, but is not in need of the additional capital which typically drives an IPO.
In a blog post on Monday CEO Daniel Ek wrote, “Spotify is not raising capital, and our shareholders and employees have been free to buy and sell our stock for years, so while [Tuesday] puts us on a bigger stage, it doesn’t change who we are, what we are about, or how we operate.
Firms entering the NYSE until now required the underwriting of banks to increase investor confidence and drive purchases of the stock. The swedish firm broke tradition by not receiving bank underwriting, also known as a direct listing. A direct listing allows a firm to enter the public market without a set price, reflecting what investors are really willing to pay for the stock.
Spotify acts as a barometer for the future of direct listing. Other large companies like Uber are keeping an eye to see how the market reacts to a well-known firm forgoing the process of a public rollout.