Rumors continue to circulate, a few months after they began to surface, of a massive funding round for Spotify from Goldman Sachs that would peg its value at $7-8 billion. On Friday night (April 10), The Wall Street Journal reported that the round would bring $400 million dollars from Goldman Sachs and Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund, valuing the streaming service at $8.4 billion.
Spotify declined to comment.
The round will reportedly also see involvement by other venture-capital firms and asset managers, the Journal writes, and is expected to close in the coming weeks and, if confirmed, will make Spotify one of the world's highest-valued private tech companies, putting it at more than double that of Pandora Media Inc., a public company with a market capitalization of $3.6 billion as of the market's close on Friday. It has been speculated that Goldman Sachs investment in Spotify could put off the Sweden-based company's initial public stock offering for another year.
Spotify said in January it had reached 15 million paid subscribers along with its 45 million free users.
The company, founded in 2006 and widely considered to be the leading streaming service worldwide, has yet to generate a profit across its business -- though it did end up in the black in France in 2013, earning $329,000. The company is predicted to begin making money generally in 2019.
Spotify's business model -- attract free listeners to eventually pay -- has been widely criticized. Many artists and rights holders believe consumers should pay for on-demand listening and say unlimited free listening results in royalties that are too low to sustain their creative efforts. Some of those exceedingly successful artists recently banded together to hold a stake in Jay Z's revamped Tidal streaming service, and Spotify will soon face another major competitor when Apple launches its highly anticipated subscription service following the $3 billion purchase of Beats. Apple's service won't include a free tier and will reportedly cost $9.99 per month or $14.99 for a family plan.