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From Sony and Warner’s calendar Q1 results to TikTok’s A&R recruitment drive: It’s MBW’s Weekly Round-Up

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 Centtripwhich helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximize their income and reduce their touring costs.

This week saw calendar Q1 earnings reported for Sony Music and Warner Music Group.

Sony’s global music rights operation – across recorded music and music publishing – generated USD $1.988 billion in the three months to end of March 2022.

That’s according to MBW’s calculations based on Sony Group Corp’s fiscal Q4 (calendar Q1) results, as announced by the Japanese firm earlier this week.

Warner Music Group, meanwhile, generated USD $1.376 billion in the first three months of 2022. That figure was up 13.2% year-on-year at constant currency, the firm told investors this week.

Warner revealed these numbers as part of its fiscal Q2 (calendar Q1) financial results.

Also this week, we learned that Pink Floyd is considering selling their recorded music catalog for hundreds of millions of dollars.

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Citing sources, Bloomberg suggested that representatives for the iconic British band have reached out to potential buyers in the music business.

Now, a new report from the Financial Times suggests that Warner Music Group and KKR-backed BMG are among the companies competing for that deal – and that bids are flying in above the half-billion-dollar mark…

According to the FT, citing people familiar with the talks, the price of the deal, if agreed, has the potential to exceed what Sony Music paid for Bruce Springsteen’s recorded music and publishing catalogs, in music’s first $500-plus million artist catalog deal.

Elsewhere this week, Snapchat was sued by a subsidiary of SUISA, the collection society for songwriters and publishers in Switzerland, while ByteDance and TikTok were hiring for A&R execs in London, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo.

Here’s what happened this week…


1) SONY GENERATED $1.99BN FROM RECORDED MUSIC AND MUSIC PUBLISHING IN CALENDAR Q1, UP 13.5% YOY

Sony’s global music rights operation – across recorded music and music publishing – generated USD $1.988 billion in the three months to end of March 2022.

That’s according to MBW’s calculations based on Sony Group Corp’s fiscal Q4 (calendar Q1) results, as announced by the Japanese firm earlier this week.

The $1.988 billion figure was up 13.5% year-on-year (vs. calendar Q1 2021) at US dollar-converted constant currency….


2) WARNER MUSIC GROUP POSTS $1.38BN IN CALENDAR Q1 REVENUE, UP 13.2% YOY

Warner Music Group generated USD $1.376 billion in the first three months of 2022.

That figure was up 13.2% year-on-year at constant currency, the firm told investors this week.

Warner revealed these numbers as part of its fiscal Q2 (calendar Q1) financial results.

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Those results also revealed a few other interesting figures across both WMG’s recorded music and music publishing operations…


3) BMG AND WARNER COMPETING FOR PINK FLOYD CATALOG, WHICH COULD FETCH MORE THAN BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN’S $500M+ DEAL (REPORT)

We learned earlier this week that Pink Floyd is considering selling their recorded music catalog for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Bloomberg sources suggested that representatives for the iconic British band have reached out to potential buyers in the music business.

Today (May 13), another report, this time from the Financial Times, suggests that Warner Music Group and KKR-backed BMG are among the companies competing for that deal – and that bids are flying in above the half-billion-dollar mark…


4) SNAPCHAT OWNER SUED BY SWISS COLLECTION SOCIETY FOR ‘REFUSING TO PAY AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS FOR MUSIC ON ITS PLATFORM’

The Snapchat story has, by most accounts, been a rosy one for the music business in recent times.

The Snap Inc.-owned platform has struck licensing agreements with the likes of Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment in the past two years – during a period where Snapchat’s user base has grown considerably.

Indeed, in Snap’s most recent quarterly fiscal results (Q1 2022), announced last month, the company confirmed that it now reaches 332 million Daily Active Users (DAU) globally – up by 52 million, or 18%, year-over-year.

However, yesterday (May 12), relations between the music biz and Snapchat took a sour turn…


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5) AS BYTEDANCE IPO RUMORS RESURFACE, TIKTOK HIRES FOR A&R EXECS IN LONDON AND LA TO ‘SIGN’ NEW ARTISTS

Last week, we asked if TikTok was slowly turning into a record company.

The catalyst for that article, besides the launch of TikTok’s distribution and artist incubator platform SoundOn in March, was a job ad posted by parent company ByteDance for an A&R executive in Jakarta.

According to that ad, one of the responsibilities listed for the role is “finding and signing new music talent”.

That got us thinking. With TikTok performing functions for artists like marketing, distribution, discovery and development, is the platform on its way to becoming a record label?

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This week brought a new layer to this story: ByteDance and TikTok appear to have gone global in their search for both experienced A&Rs and new artists, with job ads for A&R Managers popping up in London, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo (Brazil)…


MBW’s Weekly Round-Up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximize their income and reduce their touring costs.

Music Business Worldwide

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