Live Music Stocks Fall as iHeartMedia Shares Rise – Billboard

August 26, 2023 - News

Live music companies’ stocks fell an average of 4.4% on this week’s Billboard Global Music Index despite their optimism about sustained consumer spending and healthy revenue and ticket sales in the second half of the year. While Live Nation shares rose 0.5% to $84.79, the other promoters and ticketing companies in the index had down weeks: Madison Square Garden Entertainment fell 2.7%, CTS Eventim dropped 5.7% and Sphere Entertainment Co. plunged 9.6%.

Sphere Entertainment shares have gained over 19% since the company turned on the external display on its state-of-the-art Las Vegas venue and showcased the potential inside the structure on July 5. The company’s second quarter results, released Tuesday, showed revenue of $129.1 million — with the Sphere contributing just $700,000 and the remainder coming from MSG Networks. Sphere’s share price rose nearly 8% to $39.58 following Tuesday’s earnings results but fell nearly 15% over the next three days. The $2.3-billion Sphere will open on Sept. 29 with a 25-date residency by U2.  

iHeartMedia shares rose 6.6% for the week to close at $3.56 on Friday (Aug. 25), making the radio giant the week’s greatest gainer on the Billboard Global Music Index. However, radio companies’ struggle with weak national advertising has hurt their share prices overall in 2023. Year to date through Friday, iHeartMedia was down 41.9% and Cumulus Media had lost 41.9%. Audacy, troubled by debt on top of the soft advertising market, was de-listed by the New York Stock Exchange on May 16 and currently trades over the counter at 75 cents per share despite a reverse stock split on June 30 raising the price from 7 cents to $2.13. Audacy was removed from the Billboard Global Music Index following the de-listing.

Overall, the 21-stock Billboard Global Music Index was flat this week at 1,298.80. Ten stocks finished the week in positive territory, ten stocks lost ground and one stock, Round Hill Music Royalty Fund, was unchanged. Record labels and music publishers were the top performing sector with an average gain of 1.7% and only one company, Universal Music Group (down 0.7%), finished in negative territory. Streaming companies and radio companies suffered average weekly losses of 1.3% and 1.7%, respectively. 

Year-to-date, the index has increased 11.2%, even as it’s now on its fifth straight week without a gain.

Stocks in general performed better than music stocks. In the United States, the S&P 500 gained 0.8% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite gained 2.3%. In the United Kingdom, the FTSE gained 1%. South Korea’s KOSPI composite index gained 0.6%. 

The week’s biggest loser, streaming company Anghami, fell 17.5% to 94 cents per share. The stock traded below $1 per share from Wednesday to Friday, marking the first time since July 18 the stock has dropped below $1. On Monday, Anghami announced the sale of a convertible note worth $5 million to SRMG Ventures, a venture arm of Saudi Research and Media Group. The company plans to use the proceeds for working capital, growth and other corporate purposes. 

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