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.
One of the industry’s biggest talking points of the year gave us a lot more to talk about this week.
Universal Music Group, which is set to go public on the Euronext Amsterdam Stock Exchange on Tuesday (September 21), has published its pre-listing prospectus, offering potential investors a look at what makes the Universal wheels turn.
The document is a treasure trove of insight into the world’s biggest rightsholder, revealing, for example, that no single artist accounted for more than 1% of the company’s recorded music revenue in 2020.
We also learned who’ll be making up the firm’s board after it lists in Amsterdam, and that French businessman and ex-Vivendi Chairman Vincent Bolloré’s ‘Bolloré Entities’ will own $7bn-plus of Universal’s shares following the IPO.
Meanwhile, UMG’s NASDAQ-listed rival Warner Music Group announced this week that, from 2023, it will be representing the entire post-1968 recordings catalog of David Bowie worldwide.
This means that Bowie’s more recent recordings (2000-2016), which have been released by Columbia/Sony Music, will become part of Warner’s repertoire. These albums will join Bowie’s 1968 to 1999 recordings, which Warner Music already represents.
Bowie’s catalog coming to Warner is the latest news from an emerging trend of certain superstar artists striking deals to bring their entire recording catalogs to individual major record companies.
Two other examples include Madonna, whose Maverick/Live Nation/Interscope recordings (2012-2019) will move to Warner Music in 2025, joining her classic Sire/Warner Bros catalog under one roof; and Aerosmith, whose Columbia/Sony Music recordings will go to Universal Music Group from 2022, and be united with the band’s Geffen/UMG recordings from the ’80s and ’90s.
Elsewhere, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) revealed this week that in the United States, on a retail basis, recorded music revenues in the market (money spent on streaming subscriptions, as well as physical and digital music), grew $1.5 billion or 27% year-on-year, to $7.1 billion in H1 2021.
Also this week, Live Nation Entertainment struck a deal to buy a majority (51%) stake in Mexico-based concert promoter OCESA Entretenimiento for nearly $450 million, and the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority announced that it is moving its inquiry into Sony Music’s acquisition of AWAL to ‘Phase Two’..
Here’s what you need to know…
1) MEET UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP’S NEW BOARD
Some 60% Universal Music Group will be listed on the Amsterdam Euronext stock exchange on Tuesday (September 21), leaving current parent Vivendi with just 10% ownership of UMG.
This week, we found out a whole lot more about the company
Universal is today – and will become tomorrow – via a prospectus published by UMG for its current and future shareholders.
In addition to key details about UMG’s finances, we also learned for the first time who’ll be making up the firm’s board after it lists in Amsterdam….
2) US recorded music revenues grew $1.5bn in H1 2021 compared to the first half of last year
The US recorded music market was off to a flying start in the first six months of 2021.
On a retail basis, recorded music revenues in the US (money spent on streaming subscriptions, as well as physical and digital music), grew $1.5 billion or 27% year-on-year, to $7.1 billion in H1 2021 (from $5.6 billion in H1 2020).
Thats according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which confirmed these new stats on Monday (September 13) in its 2021 Mid-Year Music Industry Revenue Report.’.
The growth in the recorded music market in H1 was primarily driven by music streaming, including paid subscription services, ad-supported services, digital and customized radio, as well as licenses for music on Facebook and digital fitness apps, which in total, grew 26% to $5.9 billion in H1 2021..
3) DAVID BOWIE’S ENTIRE CATALOG IS COMING TO WARNER MUSIC FROM 2023
Warner Music has announced that, from 2023, it will be representing the entire post-1968 recordings catalog of David Bowie worldwide.
This means that Bowie’s more recent recordings (2000-2016), which have been released by Columbia/Sony Music, will become part of Warner’s repertoire. They include albums like 2016’s Blackstar, plus Heathen, Reality, and The Next Day.
These albums will join Bowie’s 1968 to 1999 recordings, which Warner Music already represents.
Warner has done so since 2013, when the company acquired Parlophone Label Group for GBP £487 million – an enforced disposal from Universal Music Group’s acquisition of EMI Music…..
4) LIVE NATION TO BUY MAJORITY STAKE IN LATIN AMERICA’S BIGGEST CONCERT PROMOTER FOR $450M
Live events giant Live Nation Entertainment has struck a deal to buy a majority (51%) stake in Mexico-based concert promoter OCESA Entretenimiento for nearly $450 million.
The deal, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, is expected to close by the end of this year, or the start of 2022 and is priced at 8.84 billion Mexican pesos (approx $444 million).
Live Nation originally entered into an agreement to buy 51% of OCESA, Latin America’s largest concert promoter, for over $400m in summer 2019, but pulled out of the deal in May last year during the slump in the global concert business due to the COVID crisis…
5) WOULD AWAL REALLY HAVE THRIVED HAD IT NOT BEEN SOLD TO SONY MUSIC?
Sony Music having to dispose of AWAL due to a UK competition watchdog’s clampdown: it’s not a prospect many in the music industry would relish.
Even Sony’s fiercest rivals – Universal and Warner – would surely have grave concerns about the “chilling effect” such an outcome might have on the market.
Then there’s the uncertainty for AWAL itself, not to mention its artists, which include the likes of Girl In Red, Finneas, and Little Simz.
Yet it’s an outcome that took a further step towards becoming a reality today, with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority announcing that it is moving its inquiry into Sony’s acquisition of AWAL to ‘Phase Two’….
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