Spotify to continue investment in ad business, confirms IPO

Following the launch of its initial public offering (IPO), Spotify has also outlined several growth strategies for its business moving forward, this includes a continued investment in its advertising business. In an SEC filing detailing the move, the company said that it has been introducing several new advertising products. This includes as sponsored playlists, a self-serve audio advertising platform, and is also testing skippable audio advertising.

The company is looking to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under "SPOT".  According to multiple news reports, the IPO is valued at around US$1 billion.

The company also looks to focus on developing analytics and measurement tools to better evaluate, demonstrate and improve the effectiveness of advertising, the filing read. It added that this was in a bid to create more value for advertisers and Ad-Supported Users. This was by enhancing its ability to make advertising content more relevant our Ad-Supported Users.

“Our advertising strategy centers on the belief that advertising products that are based in music and are relevant to the Ad-Supported User can enhance Ad-Supported Users’ experiences and provide even greater returns for advertisers,” the filing added.

Other growth initiatives include the expansion of its non-music content and user experience. This includes podcasts, which it looks to expand over time to include other non-music content, such as spoken word and short form interstitial video.

The growth plan also outlined plans to grow and retain its user base through heavy investment in research and development, strategic acquisitions to enhance product capabilities, and making offerings attractive to existing and prospective users. These investments include artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to deepen personalised experiences it offers to users. Examples of such acquisitions include Mighty TV, Niland, Sonalytic, Soundtrap, and The Echo Nest Corporation.

Spotify also plans to further penetrate existing markets by pursuing initiatives which drive growth such as enhancing its ad-Supported offering, improving playlists, enhancing personalisation and bringing even more artists to our platform to expand content offerings.

In January, Spotify reportedly filed for a confidential IPO, a public listing that lets companies’ list shares without raising money through a traditional stock offering. The move avoids underwriting fees and restrictions on stock sales by current owners, and doesn’t dilute the holdings of executives and investors. At the time, Spotify, which was valued at about US$15 billion, was reported to be the most prominent company so far to attempt a direct listing.