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Spotify’s IPO in six charts

What we learned from the streaming company’s public filing.

Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

Streaming music company Spotify filed to go public today. The uncommon IPO-less IPO paperwork laid bare reams of financial data, from the amount of money the company makes from each user to how much its shareholders stand to gain.

Here’s some of that information in chart form:

Spotify has filed to go public at a moment when streaming revenues have begun to help compensate for years of declining physical sales.

Revenue is growing faster than costs, specifically its royalty payments, which means Spotify’s gross margins are going up. They hit 21 percent last year.

Spotify makes most of its revenue — 90 percent — from its paying, or premium, subscribers. In 2017, the company clocked €3.7 billion in premium revenue. Spotify also makes money from ads, which non-paying users have to listen to in order to stream music.

The average revenue Spotify makes from each of its paying users declined to €5.32, or about $6.50 per user. That’s down 14 percent from a year ago, thanks to growth of the family plans, which allows more people to share a subscription.

Spotify’s premium subscribers grew to 71 million last year, up 43 million from 2015. Meanwhile, its churn rate — the share of cancelations out of total subscribers — declined to 5.5 percent, down from 7.7 percent two years ago. Spotify also credits family plans with higher user retention.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek owns the biggest proportion of regular shares at about 26 percent. At nearly 6 percent, Sony surprisingly has the biggest stake out of any music label.

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