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.
This week, MBW calculated that the three ‘majors’ (Sony Music Group, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group), across recorded music, publishing, and other income streams – jointly generated USD $12.99 billion in the first six months of 2023.
This figure was a billion dollars larger than the $11.99 billion that the ‘Big Three’ generated in revenues in the same period of 2022.
It also means that the three majors combined generated an average of approximately $72 million per day in the first half of this year… or roughly $3 million per hour.
We were able to crunch those numbers because this week saw two major music companies – Warner and Sony – post their calendar Q2 revenue/profitability figures for investors. (Sony did so on Wednesday via its Japanese parent, Sony Group Corp.)
WMG and SMG’s results followed the equivalent calendar Q2 numbers from publicly-traded UMG, which reported its revenues late last month.
Also this week, we learned that South Korea-headquartered entertainment giant HYBE is taking full control of BeLift Lab, the label home of K-pop stars Enhypen, while Tom Becci has been hired as Chief Executive at Concord Label Group.
See below for five of the biggest headlines on MBW this week…
1) The 3 major music companies generated $1bn more in the first half of 2023 vs. the first half of 2022
Music Business Worldwide has been crunching a veritable mountain o’ numbers this week.
That’s because this week has seen two major music companies – Warner Music Group (WMG) and Sony Music Group (SMG) – post their calendar Q2 revenue/profitability figures for investors. (Sony did so on Wednesday via its Japanese parent, Sony Group Corp.)
These results followed the equivalent calendar Q2 numbers from publicly-traded Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s biggest music rightsholder, which it reported to the Amsterdam Euronext late last month.
All of this means that – combined with previously-reported calendar Q1 figures from UMG, Sony, and WMG – we’ve been able to apply MBW’s microscope to how the ‘majors’ performed across the first six months of 2023.
What have we discovered?
Well, for starters, there’s that headline above: The three ‘majors’ – across recorded music, publishing, and other income streams – jointly generated USD $12.99 billion in the first six months of 2023…
2) WARNER EXPECTS ‘MORE REGULAR’ STREAMING PRICE HIKES AHEAD, AND 3 OTHER THINGS WE LEARNED ON WMG’S LATEST EARNINGS CALL
Although music rightsholders are certainly happy with the price hikes seen at streaming services of late, it’s no secret that recording companies and publishers want to see more – and Warner Music Group (WMG) is counting on it.
During the company’s latest earnings call, held on Tuesday (August 8), CEO Robert Kyncl said he was “pleased” to see that all the major music streaming services – including, most recently, Spotify – have raised prices on their individual subscription plans, calling it “the fiscally responsible thing to do.”
Yet Kyncl made it clear that he expects to see streaming price hikes become a regular part of the music landscape going forward…
Sony’s global music rights operation – across recorded music and music publishing – generated USD $2.284 billion in the three months to end of June 2023.
That’s according to MBW’s calculations based on Sony Group Corp’s calendar Q2 2023 (fiscal Q1 2023) results, as announced by the Japanese firm on Wednesday (August 9).
The $2.284 billion figure was up 12.5% year-on-year (vs. calendar Q2 2022) at US dollar-converted constant currency…
South Korea-headquartered entertainment giant HYBE is taking full control of BeLift Lab, the label that’s home to K-pop stars Enhypen.
BeLift started out as a joint venture between HYBE and CJ ENM, owner of South Korean pay-TV music channel Mnet.
In a press release shared with MBW, HYBE says that it is acquiring a 51.5% stake in the label from CJ ENM, meaning that it will now own 100% of BeLift.
According to local reports, HYBE is buying CJ ENM’s 51.5% stake in BeLift for 150 billion South Korea Won (approx. USD $113.8m)…
US-headquartered Concord is setting its sights on expanding its presence in the recorded music business.
To that end, this past June it announced the launch of a joint-venture label with PULSE Music Group, to be dubbed Pulse Records.
The latest step in this expansion, announced on Wednesday (August 9), is the creation of a new Chief Executive position at Concord Label Group, to oversee the company’s entire recorded music division, including global frontline label and catalog operations.
Into that role will be stepping Tom Becci, a music industry veteran with three decades of experience, including a seven-plus-year stint at Red Light Management, the world’s largest independent music management agency…
Music Business Worldwide