Friday, May 26, 2017

Spotify makes new board appointments ahead of Wall Street listing | UNLIMITED | CMU


Spotify is reportedly seeking to add four new directors to its board, a move widely seen as further prep for the streaming music firm becoming a publicly listed company.

According to the Financial Times, former Disney COO Tom Staffs is among the new board appointments, along with Padmasree Warrior, who heads up the US division of Chinese electric car maker NextEV; former YouTube Head Of Product Shishir Mehrotra; and Cristina Stenbeck, an owner of Swedish investment firm Kinnevik.

Bringing the expertise of Staffs and Mehrotra into the boardroom, alongside Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, who joined Spotify’s board eight months ago, could be seen as confirmation that the digital firm has increasing ambitions in the video space. Not that its dabblings in video have been hugely successful to date, though original programming is seen as a key way for the streaming services to distinguish themselves from one other, and on the freemium side brands usually spend more when a project has a video element.

Spotify, of course, is now very much on its march towards becoming a publicly listed company. It is now widely believed that the firm will opt for an unusual ‘direct listing’ on the New York Stock Exchange, whereby no new shares are issued at the point of listing. Though sources tell the FT that a final decision on going that route – rather than pursuing a more conventional cash-raising Initial Public Offering – is yet to be made.

Getting new multi-year deals in the bag with the big music rights owners is, of course, also required before going to Wall Street, even if Spotify goes the direct listing route. As previously reported, Universal and indie label repping Merlin are already on board in that regard, with deal negotiations ongoing at Sony Music and Warner Music.


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