Spotify : ça sent le sapin

Je sais que ça fait des années que, tel un vautour, je répète inlassablement que Spotify va finir par crever. Et contre toute attente, malgré le fait qu’elle soit toujours déficitaire dix ans après son arrivée sur le marché, la société et son modèle économique bancal ne semblent pas vouloir péricliter.

Sauf que… Comme le souligne Stephen Carlisle dans un papier intitulé « Why Are Record Companies Dumping Their Spotify Stock? » (« Pourquoi les maisons de disque se débarrassent de leurs actions Spotify ? »), l’avenir n’a pas l’air radieux pour la boite suédoise.

When asked for a reason for the sell-off, WMG CEO, Steve Cooper, was all standard issue Silicon Valley unicorns and rainbows. As reported by Variety:

“’Just so there won’t be any misinterpretation about the rationale for our decision to sell, let me be clear: We’re a music company, and not, by our nature, long-term holders of publicly traded equity,’ he said. ‘This sale has nothing to do with our view of Spotify’s future. We’re hugely optimistic about the growth of subscription streaming, we know it has only just begun to fulfill its potential for global scale. We fully expect Spotify to continue to play a major role in that growth.’”

Except that WMG is not a stand-alone music company. It is wholly owned by the investment firm Access Industries. Which is very much in the business of holding long term equity stakes.

Et d’enfoncer le clou un peu plus loin, en citant et commentant un article de Forbes :

“Spotify is growing fast, losing money, and burning through a common measure of cash flow. According to its prospectus, between 2015 and 2017, revenues grew at a 45% annual rate to €4,090 million. In 2017, Spotify reported a net loss of €1,235 million, nearly six times more than it lost in 2015, and its Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA) was negative €324 million.” […]

So if you hold shares in a company that is running a deficit of over 2 Billion Euros, with annual losses approaching 400 million Euros, you might come to the conclusion that Spotify is not going to make any real profits for quite some time, and thus no dividend to you, the shareholder. It might also point towards the conclusion that Spotify’s continuing losses will not have an upward effect on the stock price, making it more prudent to sell now.

Tout ça sent définitivement le sapin.

Via Nova Southeastern University.

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