Archive for the 'Analysis' Category

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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21
Jul
18

Interview by Peter Tschmuck on ABC’s “The Music Show”: The Future of Music

Today on July 21st, national Australian radio station ABC broadcast a longer interview by Peter Tschmuck on the “Future of Music” in “The Music Show” presented by Andrew Ford. This episode will be repeated on Saturday and Sunday 9pm, Wednesday and Thursday 11pm (Australian eastern time).

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/musicshow/the-future-of-music/10018986

 

 

22
Jun
18

Music Majors in the Streaming Economy: Universal Music Group

Universal Music Group’s parent company Vivendi announced plans to spin-off the world’s largest music major company as a standalone entity on the stock market. It is no incident that the French media and telecommunication conglomerate Vivendi considers such a strategy. Spotify’s public listing early in April this year was a financial success and it seems that investors currently assess music as a good investment. The overall economic climate is positive and Universal Music Group (UMG) performed very well in the past few years – mainly because of significantly increasing revenues from music streaming. In the last annual report for the financial year 2017, UMG posted a total revenue of € 5.67bn (+ 25 percent compared to 2012) and an EBITA of € 761m (+ 45 percent compared to 2012). Music streaming is the main driver of revenue and profit growth. Thus, revenue from streaming increased by almost 33 percent from 2016 to 2017 to EUR 1.97bn contributing more than a third to UMG’s total revenue in 2017.[1]

The further analysis highlights how UMG had to reinvent itself as a comprehensive music service company with a focus on music streaming and providing a wide range of services far beyond the traditional recorded music business.

Continue reading ‘Music Majors in the Streaming Economy: Universal Music Group’

03
Apr
18

Spotify goes public – an economic background analysis

April 3rd 2018 is a historic moment in the digitized music industry, when the Swedish music streaming company Spotify is listed at the New York Stock Exchange. Spotify’s stock exchange listing is not just a touchstone for the music streaming service’s business model, but for the entire recorded music industry that is back on a path of growth. Spotify is the darling of the big music industry players. It provides a legal business model that can be monetized by hefty advances and royalty payments. This allowed the music majors and the indie label licensing agency MERLIN to become Spotify’s shareholders in return for advance payments Spotiy could not afford. Sony Music Entertainment’s Spotify stake of 5.7 percent (Spotify 2018: 148) e.g. is worth US $500m to 1.3bn.[1] The following analysis highlights Spotify’s success story, but also outlines potential risks of going public. It also analysis who benefits from Spotify’s stock exchange listing and assesses the impact on the music streaming market.

Continue reading ‘Spotify goes public – an economic background analysis’

05
Mar
18

Music Majors in the Streaming Economy: Warner Music Group

In its last annual report Warner Music Group (WMG) exhibited a total revenue of US $3.58bn – the highest since the recorded music company was sold by Time-Warner to the Investor Group in 2003. Although overall costs also increased to US $3.15bn (WMG 2017: 38-39), the operating income is remarkably high with US $222m (WMG 2017: 40) especially compared to the disastrous results of the early 2000 years with annual losses of about 1 billion US$. The main driver of the revenue growth is the music streaming boom. In the recorded music segment streaming revenue increased by US $434m to US 1.34bn in the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2017. The music publishing segment contributed a further increase of US $58m of streaming revenue (WMG 2017: 36). Thus, WMG earned almost US $500m more with music streaming in 2017 compared to 2016. The further analysis highlights how the music major’s business model has shifted to the music streaming economy.

Continue reading ‘Music Majors in the Streaming Economy: Warner Music Group’

31
Jan
18

Artists in the Music Stream – A Case Study

On 24 January 2018 the Latin superstar Enrique Iglesias filed a lawsuit against Universal International Music for “systematically underpaying streaming royalties” (complaint, Enrique Iglesias vs. Universal International Music, January 24, 2018). The lawyers of Iglesias argue that Universal Music should have paid 50 percent of the net revenue from the streaming services. Instead Iglesias was paid just a fraction of the royalties according to the rate agreed for physical and download albums. This remarkable case sheds light into the contractual practices in the recorded music industry and helps to explain, why artists contracted to record labels does not really benefit from the music streaming economy yet.

Continue reading ‘Artists in the Music Stream – A Case Study’

31
Dec
17

Music Business Research 2017 – in retrospective

Dear readers of music business research blog,

The music streaming boom dominated 2017. Market statistics highlight that music streaming revenue has become the most important income stream for the phonographic industry. The US figures for 2016 highlight a tremendous shift from selling music (CDs and downloads) to accessing music (by streaming services). In the US, music consumers paid for the first time more for music access by ad-supported and paid streaming services (US$ 3.9bn) than for CDs, music downloads and ringtones (US$ 3.5bn). In the UK, the massive growth of music streaming revenue also increased overall recorded music sales in 2016. Gains of £103m in the music streaming segment, thus, compensated not just for the loss of £5.8m of physical sales, but also for the £56m decrease in download sales in a year-to-year comparison, as a long-term analysis of the UK recording sales indicates. We can, thus, expect a further massive growth of music streaming revenue in 2017 also on markets with a still strong physical segment such as Germany.

Continue reading ‘Music Business Research 2017 – in retrospective’




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