spotify

A figure in mind: $16 billion. That’s the lofty number being bandied as the current value of Spotify, based on private trades, according to a report Wednesday from Reuters. The number is about $3 billion higher than in similar trades up until June, according to Reuters sources.

According to the report, with “strong demand for the shares and rising subscription numbers at the Swedish business,” it could be worth at least $20 billion by the time it goes public. And a $13 billion price tag would value the pureplay music streaming company at around four times its 2016 sales.

As has been repeatedly reported, Spotify has long aired its intention to launch a “direct listing,” where the company would go public without doing an IPO, in which insiders, not the company, sell shares on the stock market. Spotify is aiming to file its intention to float with U.S. regulators toward the end of this year in order to list in the first or second quarter next year, sources told Reuters.

The market for shares prior to a public listing allows employees and founders of brand name private companies such as Spotify, Airbnb and Uber to cash in on some of their paper wealth, Reuters explained, while letting other investors get a head start on the listing. Early investors, weary of waiting for a payout, are selling shares as well.

Looking ahead, an investor survey led by technology investment and advisory firm GP Bullhound, which owns shares in Spotify, estimated the company’s valuation could reach $50 billion in a few years. The investors and venture capitalists polled pointed to Spotify’s position as the “undisputed market leader” in music streaming, and to rapid growth in its paying users from 5 million in 2012 to over 60 million today.