Spotify debuts with a boom, opening at $165.90

Spotify — Tomorrow

Since launching its streaming music service a decade ago, the Stockholm-founded company has overcome heavy resistance from big record labels and some major music artists to transform how the industry makes money.

Spotify took the unusual step of going public through a direct listing, rather than hiring an investment bank to help set an initial stock price.

Spotify soared Tuesday to a value of more than $26 billion (S$34 billion) in its long-awaited stock debut as the market delivered a ringing endorsement of the future of music streaming. Shares rose as high as $165.90, which would have indicated a $29.5 billion market capitalization, before falling below $150. Its 5.7% stake is now worth around $1.5 billion.

Personal details stored online are being hacked and then sold off - allowing the purchaser to access someone's subscription to Spotify for a tiny fraction of the above-board pricetag, says the Dark Web Market Price Index. Get access now (free). A grand total of 61 per cent of Swedish households (15-74 years) subscribe to at least one service for music or TV streaming (Q4, 2017). A list of other formidable competitors that includes Google and Amazon also offer similar music streaming services, raising the specter of Spotify being wiped out by far richer rivals.

The digital music giant bypassed many traditional steps in listing as a public company.

What can we expect to see from Spotify?

More news: Zuckerberg slams Apple CEO Tim Cook's comments on Facebook as 'extremely glib'

The firm's market debut was steered by the current financial director, Barry McCarthy, who was behind the successful listing of Netflix in 2002. "We are about twice the size of them", he said.

Spotify Technology SA made its Wall Street debut in an unconventional way.

The opening public price was determined by buy and sell orders collected by the NYSE from broker-dealers and a designated market maker's determination of where buy orders could be matched with sell orders.

After reaching a high of $169, shares closed at $149.01 - 13% higher than its reference price on its first day of trading.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek declined an invitation to ring the opening bell at NYSE.

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