Spotify founder says sales may top $889 mln in 2012 - paper

STOCKHOLM Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:38pm IST

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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Digital music streaming service Spotify may see revenues top 6 billion Swedish crowns this year as it pushes ahead with its rapid expansion on both sides of the Atlantic, founder Daniel Ek said in a newspaper interview on Friday.

Ek told business daily Dagens Industri that figures put forward by the paper showing the unlisted Swedish start-up's sales grew 160 percent to 1.69 billion crowns last year while it accumulated a net loss of 402 million sounded "reasonable".

"It is not unlikely that we already this year will have a turnover of more than 6 billion crowns," he added.

Spotify has more than 10 million active users and over 3 million paying subscribers for its on-demand service, which offers unlimited streaming for free to those prepared to tolerate ads, or a premium rate of $10 a month.

The European start-up, which is backed by digital entrepreneur and Facebook founding president Sean Parker, has grown fast in recent months since launching in the United States and sealing a partnership with Facebook.

Ek, who together with co-founder Martin Lorentzon and company staff owns a majority of Spotify shares, told the paper he was not worried about the company's mounting losses.

"Our focus is all on growth. That is priority one, two, three, four and five. But of course we expect to make a profit in the long run," he was quoted as saying.

Spotify has raised capital from outside investors several times since it set up shop in 2006 and there have been recent media reports it was looking to secure another capital boost of around $200 million, valuing Spotify at about $4 billion.

"At those levels we would definitely be interesting in talking," he was quoted as saying.

But Ek added that the company had no need of more capital at present though it was always interested if an investor could offer an investment of strategic value on good terms.

He also ruled out following in the footsteps of Facebook Inc, the social network preparing what would be Silicon Valley's largest IPO, in going public and said the founders would want to retain control of the company though not necessarily always retain a majority of shares.

"We want to build this company over the long term. Therefore the stock market is not an alternative for us," he said.

(Reporting by Niklas Pollard; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)

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