Finance

The Ledger: How the Industry Went From Discussing Fairness to Accuracy – And Why it Matters

The Ledger is a weekly newsletter about the economics of the music business sent to Billboard Pro subscribers. An abbreviated version of the newsletter is published online. What a difference a decade makes. Ten years ago, most music industry conferences played like long, geeky arguments between technology companies that said they represented the future of the business and labels and publishers that wanted that future to involve getting paid. At one memorable SXSW panel, independent artists and small label owners seethed over their inability to get YouTube to permanently remove their music from user-generated videos. At MIDEM in 2010, a year before Spotify launched in the U.S., Americans heard horror stories from European executives about the platform’s minuscule royalty rates for ad-suppor...

How Bankingly is Transforming Africa’s Fintech Industry with Simple, Smart Solutions

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Spotify to Host First-Ever Investor Day on June 8

Spotify will host an investor day at the company’s New York City office on June 8 at 10 a.m. EST, the company announced Monday (May 9). This will be streamers’ first investor day since going public in 2018. The event will feature a series of presentations from Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, CFO Paul Vogel and other members of the leadership team, followed by a live Q&A focused on the progress Spotify has made since its direct listing in April 2018 along with its current roadmap and future growth opportunities. A live webcast of the investor day will be available at investors.spotify.com, while in-person attendance is by invitation only due to limited capacity. Additional details will be sent out in advance of the event. The investor day was announced as Spotify stock reached an all-time low of...

The Ledger: How Much Will Music Subscriptions Grow in 2022?

The Ledger is a weekly newsletter about the economics of the music business sent to Billboard Pro subscribers. An abbreviated version of the newsletter is published online. Earnings season is a great time to read the tea leaves about the future of the streaming and subscription businesses. How much growth is ahead? Where will that growth come from? Is pricing headed up or down? The answers are vital for investors but are also important to labels, publishers and creators. In the last two weeks, three companies — Spotify, Universal Music Group and Believe — provided some outlook on the streaming market during their earnings calls with analysts. Their earnings reports appeared in the wake of Netflix’s warning of subscription growth slowdown and the abrupt demise of CNN’s subscription platform...

Cumulus Media Rejects $1.2B Acquisition Bid by Jeff Warshaw-Led Consortium

Cumulus Media has rejected an unsolicited $1.2 billion bid to buy the company and instead is offering shareholders a $50 million stock repurchase program, according to a letter to shareholders the company filed with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission in conjunction with its first-quarter financial results. In that letter from Cumulus Media president/CEO Mary Berner, the company said that its board of directors, along with financial and legal advisors, have concluded that the $15-$17 a share bid “significantly undervalues the company and is not in the best interest of it shareholders.” While the letter doesn’t reveal the identity of the bidder, Reuters, which initially broke the news about the bid on April 14, identified the suitor as a consortium of investors led by veteran radio indu...

BTS, Justin Bieber Concerts Boost HYBE’s Quarterly Earnings

Korean music company HYBE, home to K-pop superstars BTS, posted revenue of 285 billion KRW ($226 million) in the first quarter of 2022, the company announced Tuesday (May 3). The result — which marks a nearly 60% revenue increase year over year but a decrease of 37.8% from last quarter — followed a record-breaking year for HYBE in 2021, when the company surpassed $1 billion in revenue for the first time thanks to its acquisition of Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings. The Q1 results were bolstered by a return to large-scale live events, including BTS’ Permission to Dance shows in Seoul in March, which drew over 45,000 fans in person. An additional 1.4 million fans viewed the livestream, which smashed box office records; the March 12 screening alone grossed $6.9 million in North America, making...

Crypto Bahamas: Regulations enter critical stage as gov’t shows interest

The crypto community and Wall Street converged last week in Nassau, Bahamas, to discuss the future of digital assets during SALT’s Crypto Bahamas conference. The ​​SkyBridge Alternatives Conference (SALT) was also co-hosted this year by FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency exchange. Anthony Scaramucci, founder of the hedge fund SkyBridge Capital, kicked off Crypto Bahamas with a press conference explaining that the goal behind the event was to merge the traditional financial world with the crypto community: “Crypto Bahamas combines the crypto native FTX audience with the SkyBridge asset management firm audience. We are bringing these two worlds together to create a more equitable financial system.” Traditional finance eyes crypto as regulations take shape The combination of traditional ...

SA’s Zapper Launches Tap-On-Phone Payments

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Which African Country Will Adopt Bitcoin as Legal Tender Next?

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The Ledger: Tencent Music Highlights Risks of Doing Business in China

Doing business in China got tougher in 2021 after government agencies handed down new rules and levied fines against some well-known companies. For evidence this has made investing in Chinese companies more complicated, look no further than Tencent Music Entertainment’s annual report released Tuesday. All publicly traded companies’ financial statements include risk factors mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission to help investors understand companies’ unique challenges and possible negative outcomes if things go south. TME’s previous annual reports have listed numerous risk factors, ranging from licensing third-party content to its corporate structure. It’s a long list that just got longer. The new risk factors in TME’s 2022 annual report are further evidence of the challenges f...

Kenya’s Cellulant Partners Tanzanian Fintech NALA for Overseas Payments

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Central Bank of Kenya Orders Banks to Ration Dollar Currency

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