Spotify soars in US$26 billion stock debut

Spotify might not have got this far without support from this Australian

The Spotify banner hangs from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on the morning that the music streaming service begins trading shares at the NYSE on April 3, 2018 in New York City. Its biggest rivals are Apple Music - which dominates the digital downloads market - Amazon, Google, and smaller streaming services like the French company Deezer and Pandora and Jay Z's Tidal in the US. Sony sold about 20 percent of its shares in Spotify for a significantly higher price than it had anticipated. However, Apple doesn't rely on paid subscribers to earn a profit for Apple Music, as it has a huge retail family and consumer goods offering - products it can also use to push its streaming service to consumers.

Chinese social media and entertainment firm Tencent (TCEHY) and Japanese electronics icon Sony (SNE) are two of the music streaming platform's biggest backers.

Spotify's 35-year-old chief executive and co-founder Daniel Ek, in a blog essay before the stock listing, said his company had ample "room to learn and grow". That followed several analyst reports that gave the company's stock lukewarm ratings.

Spotify (SPOT) opened at $165.90 a share on the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday bringing the companies value to $30 billion.

It confirmed that Sony's original 5.71% stake in Spotify was worth 5.082% on a fully diluted basis.

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The direct listing allows Spotify to avoid some of the frustrations that companies have when listing publicly. But what's even more important to me is that tomorrow does not become the most important day for Spotify. That's a departure from a traditional initial public offering in which a company and a few select investors first sell a limited amount of stock at a starting price determined by investment bankers who spend weeks gauging investor demand.

Normally, companies ring bells. The listing on the NYSE didn't change the financial plans of Spotify's shareholders.

"Our focus isn't on the initial splash", he added.

At the end of a year ago, Spotify counted 159 million monthly users of which 71 million are premium subscribers.

"Spotify's going to have to get used to market volatility and getting dragged down (or pushed up) by other companies in their general space".

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