Shares of the world’s largest online music streaming service plummeted to a post-IPO low this week.
Spotify stock (SPOT) reached $146.08 by the time the market closed on October 24, with the Dow Jones Industrial losing more than 600 points. It’s the lowest the Swedish streaming company has experienced since filing for direct listing back in March.
To put things into perspective, SPOT hit a historic high in July, trading at $196.28 per share. With shares now below their initial IPO level in April, investors may starting to turn their backs on Spotify. That is through no fault of their own either. The sharp drop in Spotify’s earnings — and the entire Dow Jones, to be sure — holds correlation to political instability in the United States, according to economists, specifically with the global trade war instigated by Donald Trump.
Since the late-July peak, Spotify has lost roughly $9 billion in market capital. However, the news may come as encouraging to the major labels, who’ve been growing weary of Spotify’s attempts at revolutionizing the music industry by licensing music directly to indie artists, essentially cutting the majors out of the money-making process. The loss of market capital lessens Spotify’s competitive edge in the music streaming marketplace, giving increased power back to the labels for negotiating business policies and determining industry practices.
When it comes to the “Big Three,” all have some stake in the streaming giant. It’s a relationship that Spotify CFO Barry McCarthy has described as “co-dependent,” saying “we have driven all of their revenue growth, and they can’t be successful without us as business partners.” But while Sony and Warner Music Group have both unloaded a considerable chunk of their Spotify shares, Universal Music Group has held onto a substantial portion of theirs.