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DT Daily: Having never made a profit, Spotify goes IPO, rakes in billions

Streaming money

Streaming music service Spotify went public today, and shares debuted at about $132 a pop, giving the leading streaming service a market cap of about $23 billion. Not bad for a company that hasn’t turned a nickel in profit, ever. (Quick update: Spotify shares jumped into the $160 range as the trading day went on, pushing the market cap closer to $30 billion).

Spotify’s big debut comes as the stock market is in a decided tech downswing, but that doesn’t seem to matter much to co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek. In a blog post, Ek said the Swedish company has “never been a normal kind of company,” and that is certainly true of its stealthy “direct IPO,” which passed on bell-ringing theatrics and pretty much all the trappings of a big tech company going public.

Anyone can buy Spotify stock, you don’t need to be involved in the IPO, and Bloomberg said Tuesday at Spotify was pretty much just another day at the office. So where’s the profit going to come from? Rumors are rampant that the cash infusion will fuel Spotify’s expansion outside of just streaming music – with a possible aim at taking on Netflix, or Amazon, and even Apple and everyone else in the streaming video arena. We shall see.

Now with more Pro

We love virtual reality fun here at Digital Trends, and recently, there’s been a line in the lunch room where we’ve set up the new HTC Vive Pro VR system. DT computering sage Jayce Wagner has been missing deadlines and probably a lot of sleep as he spends ever more time in the twilight world of a long list of Steam-powered VR games and other experiences.

The HTC Vive Pro bumps up resolution to 1440 by 1600 pixels per eye, and it’s definitely a big improvement in clarity and detail inside the headset. Decent headphones are included now, but the hand controllers and room sensors aren’t included with the headset, so you’re going to be out about $1,100 total for a system that’s really ready to play.

In two years we’ll all be using it

Speaking of VR, it’s the perfect escape from your regular daily grind, right? Not so much anymore. Does your work include time spent on the web? Now you can work on the web… in VR. Mozilla, the folks that make the popular Firefox browser, have now given us “Firefox Reality,” an “in-VR” (and AR) version of the Firefox Browser. There’s even this little video about how it works.

You use a pointer from your hand controller to manipulate the browser, including scrolling and so forth, and it seems to look like a regular old browser window suspended above a grid pattern right out of a 1980s sci-fi western. Hooray, 2D web browsing in VR. Now get back to work.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.

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