Welcome to Music Business Worldwide’s weekly round-up – where we make sure you caught the five biggest stories to hit our headlines over the past seven days. MBW’s round-up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximise their income and reduce their touring costs.
Live Nation published its Q2 results this week, and it was full of impressive stats.
In addition to generating revenues of $4.4 billion during the quarter across all divisions, the company revealed that it has already sold 100 million tickets for concerts in 2022.
That’s more than Live Nation sold in the whole of 2019.
Live Nation President and CEO Michael Rapino, claimed: “The second quarter confirmed that the live entertainment industry is back globally and bigger than ever.”
Elsewhere in the news this week, Concord revealed that it has acquired music publishing company Native Tongue, marking its expansion in Australia & New Zealand. Trusted sources close to the deal in Australia tell MBW that Concord spent an eight-figure US dollar sum on the acquisition.
Consequent to the acquisition, Concord is launching Concord Music Publishing ANZ, which will be based in Melbourne, with staff in Sydney and Auckland.
We also learned this week that SoundCloud is reducing its global workforce by approximately 20%.
Referencing the news on LinkedIn on Wednesday (August 3), SoundCloud CEO, Michael Weissman, wrote: “Making changes that affect people is incredibly hard. But it is one that is necessary to ensure SoundCloud’s long-term success given the challenging economic climate and financial market headwinds.”
Meanwhile, a $500 million-backed company called Litmus Music launched to buy music rights, while Believe released its H1 2022 results, and increased its FY revenue forecast for 2022.
Here’s what happened this week…
1) LIVE NATION HAS ALREADY SOLD 100M TICKETS FOR CONCERTS IN 2022 – MORE THAN IT SOLD IN THE WHOLE OF 2019
According to Live Nation’s investor filing for the quarter ended June 30, 2022, the live events giant has sold 100 million tickets for concerts in 2022 so far, which, it says, is already more than what it sold for the whole year in 2019.
Offering its prediction for the full year, the company claims that “2022 is on track to be the biggest year in live music history”.
In his letter to shareholders, Live Nation President & CEO Michael Rapino claimed that “the second quarter confirmed that the live entertainment industry is back globally and bigger than ever” and suggested further that “Live Nation led this return”.
2) CONCORD BUYS NATIVE TONGUE IN EIGHT-FIGURE ACQUISITION, EXPANDS IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
Remember when it seemed the entire music industry was whispering about whether Concord would sell up to a major music company?
The truth about that narrative squeaked out back in April when we learned that, yes, Concord had explored the possibility of a sale – but, no, it wasn’t willing to do a deal for less than an “extraordinary-plus” price. Namely: at least USD $6 billion.
(Bloomberg accurately reported in April that Concord and its majority parent – pension fund Michigan Retirement Systems – had rejected two separate acquisition bids worth $4.5 billion and $5 billion, respectively.)
That all left Concord closing the chapter on its consideration of a potential sale ($5 billion was evidently not deemed “extrordinary-plus”!), and facing the future as a well-funded independent.
Yet having gained a reputation for being an aggressive music rights acquirer itself – and having spent a whopping USD $400 million buying Downtown‘s portfolio of copyrights last year – would Concord quickly snap back into M&A mode, or go quiet?… (MBW)
3) SOUNDCLOUD SLASHES A FIFTH OF ITS GLOBAL WORKFORCE, BLAMING ‘CHALLENGING ECONOMIC CLIMATE’
SoundCloud has started the process of reducing its global workforce by approximately 20%.
SoundCloud CEO, Michael Weissman, referenced the news on LinkedIn on Wednesday (August 3), adding: “Making changes that affect people is incredibly hard. But it is one that is necessary to ensure SoundCloud’s long-term success given the challenging economic climate and financial market headwinds.
“For those impacted by this decision, I want to thank you personally for your passion and contributions to SoundCloud and the artist communities we serve. You have all made an incredible impact on the music industry and on artists’ lives…”
4) SOME MUSIC COMPANIES ARE NERVOUS ABOUT A ‘CHALLENGING ECONOMIC CLIMATE’. BELIEVE JUST INCREASED ITS FY REVENUE FORECAST FOR 2022.
The biggest music biz story of Wednesday (August 3) will probably forever be looked upon as the shock news from SoundCloud that it is slashing a fifth of its global workforce in response to the “financial market headwinds” and “challenging economic climate” of 2022.
SoundCloud, of course, isn’t alone as a music company in getting nervous about the impact that macro-economic factors may have on its business in the second half of this year.
Yet there’s another side to this story, and it comes from Paris.
This week, Believe, the France-born distribution and services company (and owner of labels such as Nuclear Blast), released its H1 2022 results (for the six months to end of June).
Those results make for handsome reading…
5) $500M-BACKED LITMUS MUSIC LAUNCHES TO BUY PUBLISHING AND RECORDING RIGHTS
A well-funded new player just entered the music rights acquisition space.
Music industry veterans Hank Forsyth and Dan McCarroll are teaming up with Carlyle Global Credit to launch a venture called Litmus Music.
New York-based Litmus says that it will focus on acquiring and managing both publishing and recorded music rights, with Carlyle Global Credit committing an initial $500 million to do so.
Carlyle Global Credit, which has $143 billion in assets under management, is investing capital into Litmus from what it calls its “Credit Opportunities strategy”, which, it says, has already deployed $2.2 billion in and around the media and entertainment space since 2018.
Carlyle Global Credit is one of three platforms (alongside Global Private Equity and Global Investment Solutions), operated by investment firm Carlyle, which had $376 billion of assets under management as of June 30, 2022….
MBW’s Weekly Round-Up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximise their income and reduce their touring costs.
Music Business Worldwide