Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has dumped 675,000 Spotify shares worth around $100 million, according to SEC filings shared with DMN.
What does Daniel Ek know that we don’t? The Spotify CEO is now dumping a cool $100 million worth of SPOT shares, a move that strikingly follows a $50 million purchase just last year. An SEC filing emerging late Thursday (July 27th) reveals the drastic sell-off of 675,000 shares, which tops the $100 million valuation mark. But is also reveals that around 470,000 shares were acquired on May 5th, 2022 on the open market, equating to a roughly $50 reinvestment.
“I’ve always been vocal about my strong belief in Spotify and what we are building,” Ek told the world at the time he made the investment. “So I am putting that belief into action this week by investing $50 million in SPOT. I believe our best days are ahead.”
SPOT stock has been on quite the turnaround recently after a rough-and-tumble period. The stock peaked around $365-per-share in February 2021, followed by a 75% plunge that eventually bottomed out around $75-per-share in December of 2022. Shares landed above $144 at the closing bell Thursday.
During the stock’s rollercoaster ride, Daniel Ek only sold a small amount of his stake. At present, Ek remains the single largest shareholder in Spotify with 31.93 million shares—or 16.5% of the total.
The SEC filing showcasing the stock sale comes just two days after Spotify reported its Q2 2023 earnings. Shares have dropped more than 14% since Spotify’s disappointing quarterly earnings report, news of the upcoming price hike, and reports that it saw $41 million in losses from its podcast endeavors last quarter.
Despite an unimpressed Wall Street, total subscriber numbers remained robust. Spotify’s monthly active users grew by 36 million in Q2 2023 to push 551 million. That’s a 27% year-over-year increase, while paid subscribers jumped up 10 million to 220 million for a 17% year-over-year increase. Overall Spotify is growing, but label partners aren’t sure the price hikes and additional revenue streams are enough.
UMG Chairman Lucian Grainge says he believes the payment structure of a stream may need to be revalued so artists with ‘real fanbases’ are getting paid more for their efforts than nature streams and background noise available on DSPs like Spotify. Grainge says real artists with built-in fanbases should be earning the lion’s share of revenue from digital streaming providers.