Explaining his decision to forego a headline-grabbing IPO Ek wrote on the company blog: “Normally, companies ring bells, Normally, companies spend their day doing interviews on the trading floor touting why their stock is a good investment. Normally, companies don’t pursue a direct listing. While I appreciate that this path makes sense for most, Spotify has never been a normal kind of company. As I mentioned during our Investor Day, our focus isn’t on the initial splash. Instead, we will be working on trying to build, plan, and imagine for the long term."
Since its launch in October 2008 Spotify has gone on to generate revenues of $8.7bn with streaming revenue alone accounting for 65% of that total, an increase from just 45% of the total from as recently as 2016.
Despite running some impressive numbers the business has thus far struggled to make a profit and is now coming under intense pressure from well-funded rivals such as Apple Music and Amazon Music.
This is demonstrated by a prospectus filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission flagging its intent to go ahead with an IPO as recently as last month, In it Spotify conceded that it had lost $1bn through 2017.