London — Subscription music leader Spotify is set to capitalise in 2018 on the rude health of the industry with a stock market flotation, even as competitors race to find fresh ways to outflank it by catering to often fickle consumer tastes. As Spotify plans a stock market listing, its valuation among private investors has grown about 20% to at least $19bn in the past few months, sources familiar with the matter say. The streaming music service said last June it had more than 140-million active users while listing more than 30-million songs, but it is paid subscribers that count in business terms. Spotify last reported more than 60-million paid users, twice that of Apple Music, its closest rival. The global market for recorded music grew by 5.9% in 2016 — the quickest pace in the two decades since industry body International Federation of the Phonographic Industry began tracking the digital music market in 1997. Streaming revenue grew 60% in 2016, offsetting a sharp drop in download...

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