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Spotify Leads Music Stocks, SM Entertainment Shares Fall Following Sex Scandal

Spotify Leads Music Stocks, SM Entertainment Shares Fall Following Sex Scandal
Spotify Leads Music Stocks, SM Entertainment Shares Fall Following Sex Scandal


Spotify's stock price rose 3.9% this week after the company's announcement of a U.S. price increase on Monday (June 3) sent the stock on a roller coaster ride. Shares hit a new 52-week high of $331.08 on Wednesday – its highest level since February 25, 2021 – before closing at $308.11 on Friday, June 7.

After increasing subscription prices in the US and many other major markets in July 2023, Spotify further increased prices in the UK and Australia in May. The additional U.S. price increase, which takes effect in July, will bring individual pricing to $11.99 per month and family plans to $19.99 per month. The higher prices will help Spotify cover the costs of bundling music with limited free streaming of audiobooks. The streamer, however, offers its customers many options. A music-only tier has been introduced in the UK that costs 10.99 pounds ($13.99) per month, compared to 11.99 pounds ($15.26) per month for the music and audiobook option. Duo packages for two people and student packages also offer discounts compared to the standard individual package.

THE Billboard World Music Index rose 0.1% to 1,801.44, as Spotify's gain helped eclipse losses at 13 of the 20 companies in the index. The other largest companies in the index posted modest declines this week: Warner Music Group fell 0.9% to $29.51, Universal Music Group fell 1.2% to 28.23 euros ( $30.53) and Live Nation fell 3.4% to $90.56. The index is 2.5% below its high of 1,847.64, set the week ended May 3, 2024.

iHeartMedia, the index's biggest gainer for the second straight week, rose 35% to $1.25 a week after gaining 6.4%. In just two weeks, iHeartMedia's annual loss improved from 67.4% to 53.2% without any major press releases or regulatory filings. At the company's annual general meeting on Wednesday June 5, shareholders re-elected CEO Bob Pittman and CFO/COO Rich Bressler to the board of directors and approved an advisory vote on the company's executive compensation for 2023.

SM Entertainment fell 8.5 percent to 83,500 won ($60.51) amid controversy over an alleged sex scandal involving the group's Johnny and Haechan. NCT, which SM Entertainment denied. Such a significant drop is not uncommon when a K-pop company's artists are featured in South Korean news. In October, K-pop stocks fell on news that SM Entertainment artist Exo was leaving for another agency. In April, HYBE shares fell sharply after the announcement of Min Hee JinCEO of the HYBE ADOR brand, had tried to take over management of the subsidiary.

Elsewhere, CTS Eventim rose 4.3% to 82.80 euros ($89.56). On Thursday, June 6, the German concert promotion and ticketing company completed the $327 million acquisition of Vivendi's festival and ticketing businesses. Last year, See Tickets sold 44 million tickets and had a turnover of 105 million euros ($114 million). The offer does not include See Tickets France.

Shares of SiriusXM fell 9.5% to $2.56 this week, bringing its year-to-date loss to 53.2%. The satellite radio company, which also owns the Pandora streaming platform, is banking on the success of its new streaming app. launched in December and its price of $9.99 per month. In-car satellite product, which includes streaming access, costs 'around $19' per month, CEO Jennifer Witz said at the JP Morgan Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference on May 21. The company is trying to retain these satellite customers while attracting new streaming customers and reducing its reliance on promotional discounts. “I think we will have an opportunity to both capture more demand, but also maintain that full pricing base at these higher pricing levels and implement rate increases over time,” he said. Witz said.

Some U.S. stock indexes hit all-time highs this week. The S&P 500 hit a record 5,375.08 on Friday, although it closed at 5,346.99, down 0.1%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index hit a new high of 17,235.73 on Thursday and ended Friday at 17,133.12, up 2.4% from the previous week. In the UK, the FTSE 100 index fell 0.4% to 8,245.37. South Korea's KOSPI composite index rose 3.3 percent to 2,722.67. China's Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.2% to 3,051.28.




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