According to a report from Sky News this morning, streaming watchers can add the UK-based invest firm Lansdowne, Scottish firm Bailie Gifford, New York’s D.E. Shaw Group, Connecticut-based Discovery Capital Management, Halcyon Asset Management (offices in New York and London), P. Schoenfeld Asset Management (the concern responsible for precipitating Vivendi’s recent $1 billion dividend payout), London’s Rinkelberg Capital and Montreal-based Senvest Capitol to the list of new firms reportedly involved in Spotify’s imminent, and massive, funding round. The company is expected to draw $400 million in total funding, which would value the company at $8.4 billion. That list expands significantly upon the previously reported involvement of Goldman Sachs and the Abu Dhabi Investment Council.
Spotify refused a request for comment on the round.
That valuation makes Spotify worth about 2.3 times the current market cap of Pandora at the time of writing, $3.64 billion, and 1.7 times the value of the U.S. recorded music market in 2014, according to the IFPI.
The funding comes as the debate around streaming’s relationship to the recorded music business continues, with artists’ complaints of low pay from digital services countered by other artists’ claims of the services’ usefulness as mediums for fan connection. As well, Universal Music Group head Lucian Grainge’s vocal criticism of the freemium model, which Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek has vociferously defended, places the service in a sensitive position — UMG and the two other majors hold a sizable chunk of equity in the company, and will see a significant payout if (or when) the company issues its first public stock.
In spite of that, the company tells Billboard that overall advertising revenue was up 53 percent and mobile ads up 380 percent year over year. Three-fourths of the company’s 60 million users make use of its free tier, which relies on that advertising revenue, which generated $220 million in revenue across all services in the U.S. last year, according to the IFPI.