Spotify’s market cap passes US$30bn following news of non-exclusive license deals

Written by Lars Brandle on 12th June, 2018
Spotify’s market cap passes US$30bn following news of non-exclusive license deals

Spotify’s rollercoaster ride is packing some thrills for shareholders. The streaming giant’s share price on the New York Stock Exchange has climbed to an all-time high, pushing its market cap to more than US$30 billion for the first time.

The company’s stock hit $171.48 at the close of trading last week and fared even better in Monday trading to close at $172.37 after briefly hitting 172.93. That’s well up from the initial price of $149 back in April 3, when Spotify began trading via a direct listing and was valued at $26.37 billion when the markets closed.

The share price had a previous high of $171.23 on May 2, but a sharp tumble followed soon after as the Swedish-originated company announced it had added 4 million new paying subscribers to its premium on-demand music service in the March quarter, in line with expectations. Its lowest point since going public is 135.51.

So why the lift we’re seeing right now?

It’s possibly a knock-on from the news that Spotify has begun to ink direct, non-exclusive licensing deals with indie artists and managers. According to an exclusive report published in Billboard, management can now secure advances in the six-figure region for agreeing to directly license a certain number of tracks to Spotify.

On the flip side, the managers and artists earn a royalty rate equal to a 50% revenue share per stream, down about 4 percentage points from the cut the majors in the U.S. typically get per stream.

This type of dealmaking puts Spotify in a position where it behaves like a label, though it’s not actually buying the copyrights it distributes and it’s doing so without dangling the sort of cash which comes to the table in a bidding war.

As previously reported, Merlin has sold its stock in Spotify while the three majors have offloaded big chunks of their shareholding.

The article was originally published on The Industry Observer