It’s official: Spotify will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on April 3.
According to CNN, the company’s executives will take an interesting approach to the day. They won’t ring the bell at NYSE that morning, do any interviews or even throw a party.
“For us, going public has never really been about the pomp or circumstance of it all,” Daniel Ek, Spotify's CEO and founder, said.
To be fair, Spotify’s road to IPO has been out of the box. Earlier this month, the company filed for a direct listing of its shares. But instead of entering the market through an IPO, Spotify will just list its shares on the NYSE, trading as SPOT.
That means investors and employees can sell shares without the company raising new capital or hiring anyone to underwrite the offering, saving Spotify an estimated $300 million.
“It’s like saying, ‘I got the coolest house on the block. Everyone will want to buy it, so why give a cut to a broker?’” says George G.C. Parker, a finance professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business. “Spotify, by doing this, is very confident that the public already understands Spotify’s value, and that it does not need others to tell the story.”
At an investor event on Thursday, Ek spoke about the company's reasons for choosing an unorthodox IPO process.
“The traditional model for taking a company public just isn't a very good fit for us,” he said, specifically addressing the lockup period that occurs when companies go public.
“We have allowed shareholders and employees to buy and sell stock for years,” Ek said. “That shouldn't stop just because our stock is more widely owned.”
Founded more than a decade ago, Spotify currently has 159 million monthly users, 71 million of which pay for a premium subscription, according to its IPO paperwork. Its sales grew to nearly $5 billion last year, an increase from about $3.6 billion in 2016. However, its losses more than doubled to $1.5 billion due to the cost of licensing content.