3 Takeaways About Music Streaming From Recent Earnings Reports

Two weeks into earnings reviews for the second quarter of 2023, the music streaming enterprise is exhibiting that subscriptions — not promoting — are the reliable driving drive behind the trade’s development.

Subscriptions — which accounted for 65% of the U.S. recorded music enterprise in 2022, up from 63% in 2021, in keeping with the RIAA — aren’t affected by financial forces that affect how manufacturers spend their promoting {dollars}. Customers proceed to pay month-to-month or annual charges for Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Deezer and different choices. Even confronted with increased costs (see “pricing power” under), extra persons are choosing subscription companies.

Extra data will likely be gleaned within the coming weeks from earnings outcomes from Warner Music Group (Aug. 8), HYBE (Aug. 8), Sony Music Leisure (Aug. 9), Tencent Music Leisure (Aug. 15), Cloud Music (Aug. 24) and Anghami (no date set).

Based mostly on earnings by Common Music Group, Spotify, Deezer, Imagine and Reservoir Media, listed below are three takeaways from reported outcomes via Aug 4.

The subscription market is holding up nicely. Spotify beat expectations for each month-to-month energetic customers (MAUs) and subscribers, “aided by improved retention and marketing efficiencies,” the corporate defined in its July 25 shareholder presentation. Spotify’s premium subscribers grew 17% year-over-year to 220 million, beating its steerage of 217 million. Spotify’s MAUs elevated 27% year-over-year to 551 million in comparison with steerage of 530 million. Common Music Group attributed subscription development in its recorded music phase — 13% within the second quarter and 11.6% within the first half of the 12 months — to “broad-based growth in subscribers across all major global platform partners.” Reservoir Media CEO Golnar Khosrowshahi cited Spotify’s “higher than expected subscriber numbers” within the firm’s Aug. 2 earnings name and stated its robust quarterly outcomes “reflect increasing demand trends for streaming music globally.” Not all subscription companies made positive aspects, although. Deezer misplaced 100,000 subscribers from June 30, 2022, to June 30, 2023, and Pandora ended the quarter with 6.2 million subscribers, down 100,000 from 6.3 million a 12 months earlier.

Providers have pricing energy. Spotify raised its particular person subscription plan within the U.S. on July 24 to nice fanfare. In spite of everything, the worth had gone unchanged because the service launched in the US in 2011, though the household plan worth elevated by $2 per 30 days in 2021. Spotify is comparatively late to the sport, although. Deezer raised its worth from 9.99 euros to 10.99 euros in January 2022 — a significant factor within the firm’s direct subscriber common income per consumer climbing 4.9% 12 months over 12 months. Apple Music and Amazon Music each raised their costs final 12 months as nicely. And in keeping with Deezer CEO Jeronimo Folgueira, the rise had “pretty much no impact on churn” — the variety of subscribers who go away a service over a interval — and “clearly demonstrated that music is highly undervalued, and that platforms like us have more pricing power than initially anticipated.” That stated, Folgueira acknowledged that Deezer’s steerage for full-year income development doesn’t embrace one other worth improve later within the 12 months.

The promoting market continues to have challenges. At Spotify, music promoting income grew within the “mid-single digits” year-over-year, decrease than the 12% (15% at fixed forex) development in whole ad-supported income. That suggests promoting income from podcasts, which was up 30% year-over-year, contributed to a lot of the development. Spotify additionally famous “softer pricing due to the macroeconomic environment” that offset double-digit positive aspects in impressions. Common Music Group’s ad-supported streaming revenues have been up 5% within the second quarter and a couple of% within the first half of the 12 months. UMG’s CFO Boyd Muir stated “it’s too early to call a positive turnaround in the market.” Imagine is “still impacted by the weak ad-supported monetization,” stated CFO/chief technique officer Xavier Dumont. The promoting malaise extends to broadcast radio, too. Weak nationwide promoting “remained the main factor driving a decline in total revenue,” Frank Lopez-Balboa, Cumulus government vp/treasurer/CFO, stated within the firm’s July 28 earnings name. Nationwide manufacturers seem prone to improve advert spending within the second half of the 12 months, nonetheless, in keeping with B Riley Securities analyst Daniel Day.

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