As if on cue, the day after news broke that Spotify has filed for its long-expected public offering, the company announced that it has passed 70 million paying subscribers. The message was short and sweet, delivered via a Tweet on Thursday afternoon saying simply “Hello, 70 million subscribers.”
The company announced that it passed 60 million subscribers late in July, 50 million in March, and 10 million in June of 2014, which means an impressive growth of 60 million subscribers in three-and-a-half years. It last reported 140 million active users in June. Its closest competitor, Apple Music, reported 30 million subscribers in September.
Spotify is gearing up to launch an initial public offering, expected as soon as first quarter of 2018, after filing confidential documents with the SEC last month, according to reports. The company is expected to launch an IPO as a direct listing rather than a traditional offering of shares. That’s designed to make it easier for the company to go public — and it would not dilute the current equity of executives and investors — but also means it won’t raise capital with the IPO.
The company has been gearing up for the process for years, and in 2017 renewed its licensing deals with all three major labels and the independent-label collective Merlin. However, the company has not turned a profit and posted an operating loss of $389 million in 2016.
Spotify’s valuation as of December topped $19 billion, up from $16 billion earlier in the fall, Reuters reported last month.
Earlier last month, Spotify agreed to buy a stake in China’s Tencent Music Entertainment, which in turn will purchase an equity stake in Spotify; the terms of that deal weren’t disclosed.
Meanwhile, Spotify is the target of a lawsuit seeking upwards of $1.6 billion in damages from Wixen Music Publishing, which handles titles by artists including Tom Petty, Neil Young, Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen and Stevie Nicks.
Pictured above: Spotify CEO Daniel Ek