Spotify has filed to sell its shares publicly on the New York Stock Exchange in a move that could value the loss-making firm at more than $23bn (£16.7bn).

The world’s biggest music streaming service said the flotation could be worth up to $1bn.

It applied for a direct listing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission – a rare process involving the sale of existing shares currently held by staff and investors rather than new shares.

It means the company can move towards an IPO (Initial Public Offering) without having to raise new capital or hire a bank or broker to underwrite the offering – keeping costs to a minimum.

Spotify, which has a presence in more than 60 countries, said in its filing that it has 71 million premium subscribers and about 159 million monthly average users.

It said: With our ad-supported service, we believe there is a large opportunity to grow users and gain market share from traditional terrestrial radio.

It adds: Today, millions of people around the world have access to over 35 million tracks through Spotify, whenever and wherever they want.

We are transforming the music industry by allowing users to move from a ‘transaction-based’ experience of buying and owning music to an ‘access-based’ model which allows users to stream music on demand.

In contrast, traditional radio relies on a linear distribution model in which stations and channels are programmed to deliver a limited song selection with little freedom of choice.

Spotify did not specify any prices for the share sale but market experts estimated a successful sale could mean the company achieved a market value of between $19bn and $23bn.

According to financial statements in the paperwork, Spotify’s revenue last year was €4.09bn (£3.62bn), compared with €2.95bn the previous year.

However, it has never made a profit and admitted its bottom line was a potential risk.

Spotify reported that its net loss had widened sharply last year to €1.2bn (£1.1bn).

It said: We have incurred significant operating losses in the past, and we may not be able to generate sufficient revenue to be profitable, or to generate positive cash flow on a sustained basis.

(c) Sky News 2018: Spotify plots US share sale that could value firm at $23bn