BPI and BRIT Awards chief executive Geoff Taylor has given Music Week his verdict on the Spotify IPO and the potential benefits for the streaming business in the UK.
Following the build-up including CEO Daniel Ek’s bold vision of the streaming future, Spotify went public earlier this week with an unusual direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
Taylor gave a cautious welcome to the move and said the potential benefit to the UK music business “depends on how if affects Spotify’s strategy”. The company has said that – like several other growing tech companies – it plans to continue prioritising growth over profits in the near future.
“It seems to have gone well in terms of the price of the shares exceeding what had been privately traded,” said Taylor. “One would assume that they are happy with the outcome. It should allow them to invest, it should allow them to continue to grow - and that’s the most important thing. I think, overall, it will be positive.”
He added: “What is important is that [Spotify] continues to play a positive role in bringing more people into the market. We want to see a very competitive marketplace, with a number of streaming providers all doing something slightly different.”
It should allow them to invest, it should allow them to continue to grow
As well as the potential benefits of the IPO to Spotify as a business, the move has also generated global media coverage for the Swedish streaming giant.
“The publicity surrounding it is a good thing in terms of general awareness,” said Taylor. “There’s still plenty of people in this country that haven’t yet got into music streaming. There’s a lot of opportunity out there. There’s a lot of consumers who haven’t tried a smart speaker. All of the cars, essentially, out there aren’t yet using music streaming, and that’s a great opportunity for a subscription model. The benefits of music streaming in these new contexts will become evident to a lot more people. That should continue to spur growth.”
Taylor also stressed the global opportunities for British repertoire on Spotify and other platforms.
“I’m confident that we will continue to enjoy a really healthy share of music consumption around the world, all from British artists, and we’re very well placed to take advantage of that global opportunity,” he said.
Following the IPO launch, Sony Music Entertainment has already cashed in part of its equity holding in Spotify, while the other majors have yet to disclose any sale.
Sony has additionally responded positively to WIN’s call to share any windfall with distributed indie labels.