Spotify today filed to go public and plans to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the name SPOT, reports CNBC. Shares of the company have privately traded as high as $132.50, giving the company a valuation of ~$23 billion based on ordinary shares traded in private transactions.
According to Spotify's filing with the SEC, the streaming music service boasts 159 million monthly active users and 71 million premium subscribers as of December 31, 2017, which Spotify claims is "nearly double the scale" of its closest competitor, Apple Music.
As of the last update at the beginning of February, Apple Music boasted 36 million paying subscribers.
Spotify says its number of premium subscribers has grown 46 percent year over year, and its monthly active users has grown 29 percent year over year. The company earned $2.37 billion in 2015, $3.6 billion in 2016, and $4.99 billion in 2017, but posted a loss of $1.5 billion in 2017.
Spotify also says it is able to draw consumers because it provides "unique data" for a differentiated and personalized experience.
Many music services have large catalogs, but we believe Spotify is differentiated from other services because we provide Users with a more personalized experience, driven by powerful music search and discovery engines. We have a large and growing base of Users that are highly engaged on Spotify, which enables us to continuously learn about their listening behaviors throughout the day.
We use this information to create a more personalized and engaging experience for each incremental visit to our platform. We believe this personalized experience is a key competitive advantage as Users are more likely to engage with a platform that reflects their real-time moods and activities and captures a unique understanding of moments in their lives.
Going forward, Spotify plans to grow its business by heavily investing in research and development, further penetrating into existing markets, entering new geographies, continuing to invest in its advertising business, and expanding non-music content.
Spotify is going public through a direct listing, which means the company did not hire an underwriter and thus there is no set opening price for Spotify shares.