Archive for December, 2018

31
Dec
18

Music Business Research 2018 – in retrospective

Dear all,

The music business highlight of 2018 was Spotify’s IPO on April 3rd. The public listing of the music streaming service at the New York Stock Exchange was warmly welcomed by the investors with a price per share of US $166 and a market capitalization of US $26.5bn.[1] In the following Spotify’s stock price reached an all-time high of US $196.3 at the end of July – giving it a market capitalization of US $35.3bn. In the meantime, however, Spotify’s stock price lost more than 40 percent and currently the company is worth US $20.6bn.[2] This can only partly be explained by a bearish stock market in the second half of 2018, since the S&P 500 stock exchange index lost just 11.7 percent in the same period. It seems that investors have doubts about Spotify’s business model. The business analysis highlights increasing losses despite a sharply rising number of monthly active users – currently 83m premium subscribers and 109m ad-supported monthly active users.[3] However, the music industry major companies (except Universal Music Group) and the indie label licencing agency MERLIN sold their stakes in Spotify shortly after its IPO at a profit. The recorded music majors are the main beneficiaries of the booming music streaming market, which has grown by 41.1 percent to globally US $6.6bn in 2017.[4]. In-depth analyses of the Universal’s as well as Warner’s business performance highlight that the major companies as well as larger indie labels have increasing revenues and profits due to music streaming.

Beyond Spotify and the booming music streaming, I also want to point at the following music business related topics in 2018:

  • Vivendi’s plans to sell at least 50 percent of Universal Music Group to Liberty Media (owner Sirius XM Radio Inc.), which also bought a controlling stake in US music streaming service Pandora in 2018,
  • the announcement by Chinese Tencent Holdings of an IPO of its Tencent Music Entertainment Group at the New York Stock Exchange,
  • the enactment of the US Music Modernization Act
  • and the fight over Article 13 of the pending EU Copyright Directive.

Continue reading ‘Music Business Research 2018 – in retrospective’

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