For some time now, we've known that Spotify is very interested in going public, but the question was when the company will actually do it. The answer seems to be “soon.” New report from Axios tells us that Spotify has quietly filed initial public offering documents with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in late December.
Reaching out for comment, the company declined to respond, but insiders claim that Spotify has chosen to go with a direct listing. This saves costs and prevents shareholders from losing money. The timing of this suggest that Spotify could launch its IPO in the first quarter of 2018, but whether that will happen or not is in the air.
Spotify has several legal hurdles to go through as it is. The company is already facing a lawsuit over claims of licensing for songs. The company faces a $1.6 billion copyright lawsuit from Wixen Music Publishing. This could potentially make it difficult for the company to attract investors if there's doubt that Spotify isn't on solid legal ground, or if it will have to pay extra licensing fees. Filing for an IPO will push Spotify to settle or wrap up the lawsuits as soon as possible.
The company continues to struggle to turn a profit, and an IPO could give the company the resources it needs to start making that happen. Spotify may have a comfortable lead on paid subscribers, but the company still struggles financially to compete against the likes of Apple that has very deep pockets to buy loads of exclusives and large ad campaigns.