Eyes on Spotify as music innovator debuts on stock market

Tyler Roi Conde

Tyler Roi Conde Pelle

The New York Stock Exchange had on Monday set the reference price for shares in Spotify Technology at $132.

When you're trying to honour a Swedish company on its first day of public trading on the world's largest stock market there's one thing you don't want to do.

"The feedback has been mostly positive from the institutional community-on not only the company, but also the direct listing process", says Bliss.

"For us, going public has never really been about the pomp or the circumstance of it all".

Spotify selected market maker Citadel Securities for a role in setting an opening price based on buy and sell orders. The stock market has also been volatile recently with the Dow Jones industrial average falling more than 450 points, or almost 2 percent, Monday.

Even without all the bells and whistles, Spotify has used its public offering to take a victory lap of sorts.

Spotify's shares are due to be listed today, though it is not offering new shares - so the process is unusual in that there is not an initial public offering (IPO) of new shares. "On the other hand, Spotify's stock price could surge if its well-known brand name triggers a deluge of buying interest", write Alexander Osipovich and Maureen Farrell for the Wall Street Journal.

The growth was nearly entirely attributable to the public's embrace of streaming, with subscriptions to paid platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and the new service of retail giant Amazon growing 56 percent to 35.3 million users. Demand is also a key part of price discovery, as that will play into the opening price for Spotify stock.

Shortly before Spotify began trading on Tuesday, Amazon teased that it now has tens of millions of active subscribers for its music service, though it did not reveal an actual number. However, a majority of Spotify's net loss was the result of $1 billion in convertible debt that it raised in 2016 from Tencent Holdings Ltd., which agreed to not transfer its shares for a period of three years.

But it is also a strategy that has analysts uncertain of the company's prospects, as it heightens the risk of a chaotic and unpredictable market debut. One important note, investors should know that Spotify has yet to turn a profit since launching on October 7th, 2008.

During February, shares of Spotify were given a value of approximately $20 billion, which was based upon transactions that involved private stock amongst the existing investors.

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