A Spotify IPO? Recent Moves Suggest Yes

Is that the sweet sound of success the music-streaming service is hearing? They also buy the Echo Nest to amp up music-discovery features, just as Beats Music nabs merch masters Topspin.

A Spotify IPO? Recent Moves Suggest Yes
[Image: Flickr user ►CubaGallery]

It’s a busy moment for music-streaming services.

Signaling an IPO, Spotify is said to be seeking to raise a credit facility, a type of business loan, from banks, Bloomberg reports. The company also announced Thursday it has acquired the Echo Nest in a bid to ramp up its music-discovery features. The Echo Nest will continue to power existing customers, including Spotify’s competitors Rdio, Vevo, and Xbox Music.

Last month, reports emerged that Spotify was hiring a U.S. financial reporting specialist, further fueling speculation the company plans to go public. To increase its user base, Spotify in recent months has removed time limits for free accounts, giving users unlimited ad-supported streaming on desktops and mobile devices.

One of the main challenges the music-streaming industry faces is finding a sustainable revenue model, and there are critics from both sides: those who say companies like Spotify pay out too much in royalties to turn a decent profit and the artists who say they don’t get paid enough. Among the latter group is Radiohead singer Thom Yorke, who pulled his music from Spotify last summer.

Earlier this week, meanwhile, Beats Music announced it acquired Topspin, where Ian Rogers served as music general manager before taking charge of Beats’s streaming service. Topspin is a service that lets artists sell tickets, merchandise, and other products from music-streaming sites, including Spotify. The company says it will continue to support its existing customers.

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.