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Spotify Valuation Tops $8 Billion

Spotify

Spotify Ltd., the music-streaming service with more than 60 million users, received a valuation that topped $8 billion in a deal with Swedish phone company TeliaSonera AB.

The carrier said Wednesday it paid $115 million for a 1.4 percent stake, valuing Spotify at about $8.2 billion. Spotify was in the process of raising new financing at a valuation of about $8 billion, twice what it was worth when it raised money at the end of 2013, Bloomberg reported April 11.

Spotify continues to amass funds as it tries to boost its subscription service before Apple Inc. gains more customers for its updated offering, unveiled this week. Both Apple and Spotify give users access to more than 30 million songs, and each service costs $9.99 a month.

“This is a field where you will see a lot of competition and where it’s very clear that Spotify has taken a lead,” TeliaSonera Chief Executive Officer Johan Dennelind said by phone. “We will see more and more shifting towards streaming in music and other things.”

With music purchases shrinking in stores and online, streaming has emerged as the industry’s primary source of growth. Record labels acknowledge its significance, while complaining streaming has failed to replace lost retail sales.

Though Apple remains the largest music retailer in the world, its place as an industry leader is being challenged. About a quarter of Spotify’s users pay for the ad-free subscription at a time when the music industry’s revenue from streaming is on pace to exceed sales from downloads. Music is the most popular genre on Google Inc.’s YouTube’s video service, which attracts more than 1 billion users a month.

Spotify is also expanding its partnership with TeliaSonera, working with the carrier on media distribution, customer insight, data analytics and advertising.

Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ek said last month Spotify will add podcasts and video content to attract more advertising revenue and fend off competition from Apple and Google.

(Source: Bloomberg)