Spotify filed to go public yesterday in an innovative, unusual and risky approach called “direct listing,” which means no roadshow, no opening share price and no lock-up for company insiders who want to sell shares. The streaming music company revealed lots of usage and financial data in its IPO paperwork — here are the main takeaways in chart form. Spotify is still burning an enormous amount of cash — yesterday it posted an operating loss of $461 million on revenue of nearly $5 billion last year — but the margins have been creeping up, and the bigger the company gets, the better it looks. One of the surprise winners is Sony Music, which owns 5.7 percent of Spotify’s shares, worth $1.1 billion at a $20 billion valuation. Here’s why Spotify had to go public this year — it’s all about the debt drama. And here’s what SPOT might mean to music fans. [Theodore Schleifer/ Recode]
[Subscribe to the Recode Daily here]
Spotify’s key asset: Its 71 million subscribers. Every media company in the world is trying to build a direct-to-consumer subscriber business; the streaming music company has a huge one. That gives it a lot of options. [Peter Kafka / Recode]
White House communications director Hope Hicks — one of President Trump’s closest advisers — is leaving. Hicks’s departure came a day after she testified for eight hours before the House Intelligence Committee, telling the panel that in her job, she had occasionally been required to tell “white lies.” The White House said Hicks had already been planning to leave her job. [Maggie Haberman / The New York Times]
Trump stunned Republicans on live TV by asking for “comprehensive” gun control and urging a resurrection of gun-safety legislation that has been opposed for years by the NRA and a vast majority of the GOP. The NRA immediately went into frantic lobbying mode; Democrats were visibly gleeful, but some were skeptical that Trump would follow through. Earlier in the day, the Dick’s Sporting Goods chain said it would stop selling assault-style rifles in U.S. stores, and Walmart, the largest retailer in the U.S., said it would stop selling guns and ammunition to anyone under age 21. [Michael D. Shear / The New York Times]
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg issued a challenge to the powerful men on Wall Street: Be better mentors for women. Speaking at a Morgan Stanley conference to a roomful of male financial executives, Sandberg also said she was concerned about a potential backlash to the #MeToo movement. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]
Amazon will start selling UFC weekend fights — its first pay-per-view package for live sports, and a warning that Amazon is becoming its own kind of cable company. For $64.99, users can buy streaming access directly through Amazon, bypassing cable or satellite providers like Comcast or Dish Network. Meanwhile, here’s a look inside Amazon’s $1 million Alexa Prize competition, a timed student challenge to build socialbots that could make small talk with U.S. Alexa users — within 20 minutes. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]
Recode Presents …
Recode will be podcasting live from SXSW next week — and if you’re in Austin, you’re invited. Vox Media is taking over The Belmont for three days of live podcasts and musical spotlights, including live tapings of our popular shows Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher and Recode Media with Peter Kafka — we’ll also be livestreaming our interviews on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Many of Recode’s Vox Media colleagues will also be podcasting live, including Vox’s Ezra Klein and the hosts of The Verge’s Vergecast and Why’d You Push That Button? You’ll also be able to check out Polygon’s vintage arcade. Or just hang out on our patio. You can RSVP here.
Top stories from Recode
It’s been one of the most popular Twitter product requests for years.
The company put out a new video that shows customers what its self-driving cars see.
Faster mobile speeds could mean more money for online retailers.
Kerry Trainor also talked with Recode’s Peter Kafka at the 2018 Code Media conference about reorienting the company’s business model toward audio creators instead of audio listeners.
This is cool
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.