Spotify Content Chief Steps Down Ahead of IPO

Music Publisher Sues Spotify for US$1.6 Billion

Stefan Blom is leaving his post as Spotify's chief content officer in the coming weeks, the streaming service confirms to Billboard.

Spotify confidentially filed paperwork for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday. The Swedish company is expected to directly list on the New York Stock Exchange, avoiding the road show that usually proceeds an IPO. That unusual move would enable Spotify to go public while saving money on the underwriting fees that companies typically pay to investment banks when they hold an IPO.

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The company is now being sued in a $1.6bn lawsuit by Wixen Music Publishing, which accuses Spotify of failing to pay mechanical licenses for songs on its service in the US.

Based on the documents filed in the case so far, it appears that Spotify failed to obtain a compulsory or direct license from Wixen - a license that is required by law to reproduce and distribute music held under copyright by another entity. Some of these songs are owned by Wixen via copyright.

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It is not the first time that Spotify has been plagued with allegations of failing to get the proper licenses for streaming music. At the heart of the suit, filed December 29 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, is Wixen's allegation that Spotify did not obtain one of two licenses required to distribute music.

If you are wondering why Spotify would make such an obvious blunder, it seems that they made the mistake of outsourcing the licensing responsibilities to a third-party agency that was ill-equipped to take on the monumental task of getting all of the licenses in place.

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What are your thoughts on the Spotify's lawsuit?

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