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Spotify reportedly set to go public, files for IPO with SEC

Spotify may have just moved one step closer to becoming a public company.


Spotify co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek. (Photo: Spotify)

Spotify is apparently one step closer to going public.

The streaming music leader has reportedly filed materials for an initial public offering (IPO) with the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a report by news site Axios.

Spotify, which has 60 million subscribers, has been expected to go public later this year with a planned direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange, bypassing a traditional IPO. The Stockholm-headquartered company confidentially filed documents with the SEC last month, Axios reported.

Spotify declined comment to USA TODAY -- and to Axios -- on the report, perhaps a sign that the company is in the midst of the pre-IPO quiet period.

Spotify's move to go public has been anticipated and gained momentum in June 2016 with its hiring of Paul Vogel, former head of the Internet and media research team at Barclays.

Analysts have estimated Spotify's valuation as $20 billion or more. Last month, Spotify and Tencent Music Entertainment, a division of Chinese Internet giant Tencent, each exchanged minority equity stakes to strengthen the relationship between the two music streamers, the companies said.

The company still faces lingering challenges from its growth here in the U.S. Wixen Music Publishing of Los Angeles last week sued Spotify seeking at least $1.6 billion in damages. Wixen alleges Spotify played tens of thousands of songs from songwriters including Tom Petty, Neil Young and Steely Dan without getting licenses and without proper compensation.

Earlier this year, Spotify settled a class action lawsuit for $43.4 million and a separate lawsuit with the National Music Publishers Association for $30 million. 

Those cases also charged the music streamer with playing music without proper licensing and compensation. Spotify has maintained it wants to properly compensate for the music it streams but has not always been able to find the data to identify rights holders.

More: Spotify sued for $1.6 billion over Tom Petty, Steely Dan music copyrights

More: Spotify comes to Xbox One--finally

Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.

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