Spotify shares open for trading at $165.90

Spotify Technology shares changed hands well above levels they had traded in private markets on Tuesday as the world's largest music streaming service launched a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

Shares opened at $165.90, nearly 26 percent above the reference price of $132 a share set by the NYSE late on Monday.

Spotify's unusual route to publicly trading its shares will likely be watched by other technology companies that could be tempted to list without selling new shares, and by bankers that could lose out on millions of dollars in future underwriting fees.

The strong early trading for Spotify came on the heels of a steep U.S. equity selloff led by tech stocks, although the market had found firmer footing at midday on Tuesday.

The NYSE had set Spotify's reference price late on Monday, giving an early estimate of the level at which supply and demand could be balanced.

That was in line with informal trading on Monday, with shares changing hands at about $132, which would value the company at more than $23 billion.

Since launching its streaming music service a decade ago, the Stockholm-founded company has overcome heavy resistance from big record labels and some major music artists to transform how the industry makes money.

Spotify offers access to vast libraries of music rather than making users pay for CDs or downloads of individual albums or tracks.

The company has structured the stock market listing to allow existing investors to sell directly to the public while offering no new shares of its own.

Analysts had flagged concerns that forgoing hiring investment banks as underwriters or holding traditional promotional events with institutional investors could mean volatility in Spotify shares once formal trading kicked off.

Spotify's opening public price was determined by buy and sell orders collected by the NYSE from broker-dealers.

Based on those orders, the price was set based on a designated market maker's determination of where buy orders could be matched with sell orders.

While Chief Executive Daniel Ek skipped NYSE rituals such as opening bell-ringing and trading floor interviews to tout the stock, the front of the 115-year-old Greek Revival exchange building was draped in a vast green-and-black Spotify banner.

RELATED: Take an inside look at Spotify

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Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify, speaks to reporters at a news conference on May 20, 2015 in New York. Streaming leader Spotify on Wednesday announced an entry into video and original content, hoping to expand its reach beyond music. Spotify, by far the largest company in the booming streaming industry, said it was updating its platform to support videos and would offer news and other non-music content provided by major media companies. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20: Daniel Ek, CEO and Founder of Spotify, speaks at a media event announcing updates to the music streaming application Spotify on May 20, 2015 in New York City. The latest updates include the ability to stream video content, podcasts and radio programs as well as original songs for the application. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20: Rochelle King, VP Global User Experience and Design, Spotify speaks onstage at Spotify Press Announcement on May 20, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Spotify)
D'Angelo (L), American R&B and neo soul singer-songwriter, plays for reporters at a Spotify news conference May 20, 2015 in New York. Streaming leader Spotify on Wednesday announced an entry into video and original content, hoping to expand its reach beyond music. Spotify, by far the largest company in the booming streaming industry, said it was updating its platform to support videos and would offer news and other non-music content provided by major media companies. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20: Daniel Ek, Founder and CEO, Spotify speaks onstage at Spotify Press Announcement on May 20, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Spotify)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20: Musician D'Angelo (L) plays a private concert at a media event announcing updates to the music streaming application Spotify on May 20, 2015 in New York City. The latest updates include the ability to stream video content, podcasts and radio programs as well as original songs for the application. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify, speaks to reporters at a news conference on May 20, 2015 in New York. Streaming leader Spotify on Wednesday announced an entry into video and original content, hoping to expand its reach beyond music. Spotify, by far the largest company in the booming streaming industry, said it was updating its platform to support videos and would offer news and other non-music content provided by major media companies. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20: Gustav Söderström, Chief Product Officer, Spotify speaks onstage at Spotify Press Announcement on May 20, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Spotify)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20: Musician D'Angelo plays a private concert at a media event announcing updates to the music streaming application Spotify on May 20, 2015 in New York City. The latest updates include the ability to stream video content, podcasts and radio programs as well as original songs for the application. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20: Daniel Ek, CEO and Founder of Spotify, speaks at a media event announcing updates to the music streaming application Spotify on May 20, 2015 in New York City. The latest updates include the ability to stream video content, podcasts and radio programs as well as original songs for the application. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20: Rochelle King, vice president of user experience and design of Spotify, speaks at a media event announcing updates to the music streaming application Spotify on May 20, 2015 in New York City. The latest updates include the ability to stream video content, podcasts and radio programs as well as original songs for the application. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20: Daniel Ek, Founder and CEO, Spotify speaks onstage at Spotify Press Announcement on May 20, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Spotify)
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