Spotify to Rise 15% as it Monetizes Ads: Barclays

Shares of music streaming leader Spotify Technology SA (SPOT) got a boost this week on a bullish note from a team of analysts on the Street who started coverage on the stock at overweight, highlighting opportunity for new advertising revenue streams.

Barclays' Ross Sandler wrote a note to clients Tuesday forecasting shares of the European direct-to-consumer music platform to climb to a price of $210 in 12 months, implying a 16% gain from Wednesday morning, as shares trade up 2.6% at $180.56. Spotify hit the public market in April in a unique initial public offering price (IPO) with a reference price of $132 per share. (See also: Spotify ‘Closest’ to NFLX for Music, Set To Soar: JP Morgan.)

Sandler cited optimism regarding Spotify's "history of creating best-in-class products and user experience" while innovating ahead of peers. Barclays wrote that these strengths present Spotify with "a recipe for market cap accretion in consumer internet." The firm competes against deep-pocketed tech titans Apple Inc. (AAPL), Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) and Inc. (AMZN) as well as industry pioneer Pandora Inc. (P) in the increasingly crowded global music streaming space. 

Comparisons to Facebook, Google

Like other Spotify bulls, Sandler compared the company to red-hot FAANG component company Netflix Inc., which has seen its stock skyrocket 171% over 12 months even after suffering its worst day in two years on Monday. "While structural differences may make Spotify somewhat less desirable than Netflix long term, at a $30 billion market cap, the risks are skewed to the upside in our view," wrote the Barclays analyst. 

Barclays views Spotify as currently "under-monetizing its ad business" as it wins over customers and gains market share. As the company continues to solidify its leadership, the investment firm expects Spotify to seek new ways to make money on music. 

"The revenue calculation of the music advertising business is nearly identical to online advertising names like Facebook Inc. (FB) and Google," wrote the bull. (See also: Can Apple, Amazon, Pandora, Compete With Spotify?)

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