Spotify has filed confidentially to go public, sources told Dan Primack at Axios. He learned that the music streaming company filed with the SEC at the end of December.
The timing is consistent with what we are hearing. Sources told us that they’ve been targeting a debut for the first quarter of this year. We’ve gotten hints that it could happen within the next month or so.
But there’s also been chatter that it will not technically be an IPO, but rather a “direct listing.” Spotify has been exploring the possibility of listing on the stock market without the fundraising event.
Many in the tech community have expressed frustration with the traditional IPO process, and it looks like Spotify is looking to be a guinea pig and try out something different. Other companies have done direct listings, but it is an unusual scenario for a company of this size. Spotify was valued at $8.4 billion in 2015.
Spotify was recently dealt a $1.6 billion lawsuit, alleging copyright infringement.
Spotify is a leader in the digital music space with more than 140 million active users and 60 million paying subscribers. But it’s a competitive landscape that also includes Apple Music and Pandora.
Pandora, which went public in 2011, has had a tough time on the stock market. It is currently trading at $5, less than one-third of its $16 IPO price.