Spotify Secretly Files An Initial Public Offering As It Hits Its 70 Million Paid User Milestone

But wait, there's a catch on its IPO

Kelvin Mercer and David Jude Jolicoeur of De La Soul plays in a Spotify opening gig in New York City
Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

But wait, there's a catch on its IPO

The digital music service provider has hit its milestone of 70 million and is now “secretly” filing for an initial public offering (IPO). Its rival, Apple Music, is far behind with 27 million paid and on the three month trial subscribers. Spotify announced its milestone on social media specifically on Twitter by tweeting “Hello 70 million subscribers.”

With that, the company is taking its prized application to the stock market to be offered to the public. If the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved Spotify’s application, the company stocks might be in the open market without the initial public offering (IPO) to measure demand and other relevant information for the stock by the first half of 2018. This non-traditional manner of offering stocks will let investors and early shareholders of the company the power to prevent lockups, allow early cash out anytime, and prevent sale for a certain period.

This move may benefit the company prior to the sale. Apple Insider posted on their website that “The unusual method of stock sale will allow the company to go public without needing any additional funding to do so prior to the sale.”

However, as similar to Google’s unusual method of selling stocks, this is not the same case as it’s not identical. According to Bloomberg, “Google’s IPO period was similar, but not identical. The search engine giant took a hybrid approach to its initial offering, and issued over 14 million new shares in 2004, followed by 5.4 million sold by investors at an $85 per share offering price.”

Spotify setup during an event for a campaign celebration in New York
  Ben Gabbe / Getty Images

It is worth noting though that Spotify has a pending lawsuit against Wixen, a music rights management company. This might or might not have an effect on the initial public offering. According to Apple Insider, “Wixen’s suit alleges that a $43 million settlement that Spotify agreed to pay to settle a 2015 class action suit was insufficient, and is seeking $1.6 billion dollars to put things right.” In addition, they also said that “Wixen in a lawsuit filed in California federal court claims Spotify failed to obtain proper licenses to distribute tens of thousands of songs, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The publisher seeks damages of at least $1.6 billion plus injunctive relief.”