Shares of YG Entertainment plummeted 16.3% this week amidst speculation the agency has not renewed the contracts of the members of girl group BLACKPINK. Following a spate of reports out of South Korea, the company’s share price dropped 13.3% on Thursday (Sept. 21) and another 4.1% on Friday (Sept. 22).
On Thursday, Korean news outlet Daily Sports Seoul reported that three members of BLACKPINK — Jennie, Jisoo and Lisa — will leave YG Entertainment and spend just six months out of the year as part of the group. In response to that report and the flurry of media attention that followed, YG Entertainment issued a brief statement: “Currently, BLACKPINK’s contract renewal has not been confirmed and is being discussed.”
BLACKPINK became the first K-pop girl group to play Coachella in 2019 and headlined the festival in 2023. The quartet was also the first K-pop girl group — and the third K-pop group overall — to top the Billboard 200, with its 2022 album, Born Pink.
A week ago, YG Entertainment’s share price was up 80.8% year to date and was outpacing its K-pop competitors. Following the BLACKPINK news, shares of YG Entertainment fell to 130,300 KRW ($97.56), dropping its year-to-date gain to 51.4%. That put YG Entertainment below SM Entertainment’s 69.9% year-to-date gain and JYP Entertainment’s 55.6% improvement.
Overall, the 21-stock Billboard Global Music Index fell 1.9% to 1,330.12 this week, lowering its year-to-date gain to 13.9%. Eleven stocks ended the week in negative territory and two were unchanged. Of the eight stocks that finished in positive territory, only Cumulus Media, which gained 7.9% to $4.80, appreciated more than 3%.
Music stocks outperformed some major indexes, though. In the United States, the S&P 500 dropped 2.4% to 4,345.64 and the Nasdaq composite fell 3.6% to 13,211.81. Overseas, the United Kingdom’s FTSE 100 fell 0.4% to 7,683.91 while South Korea’s KOSPI composite index declined 3.6% to 2,508.13.
Led by Cumulus Media’s 7.9% gain, the three radio companies in the index had an average gain of 3.8% — the only segment in positive territory — with SiriusXM gaining 2% to $4.07 and iHeartMedia rising 1.5% to $3.45. Meanwhile, the eight stocks covering record labels and music publishers lost an average of 1.1%, and four live music stocks fell by an average of 1.7%. The six streaming companies in the Billboard Global Music Index lost an average of 6.9%.
Two streaming companies, LiveOne and Anghami, had the sharpest declines of the week. Abu Dhabi-based Anghami dropped 19% to $0.68, bringing its year-to-date loss to 57.4%. U.S. music streamer LiveOne fell 23.4% to $1.05 and has lost 36% of its value since spinning off its PodcastOne division on Sept. 11 and attracting media attention over allegations its Kast Media division did not pay some advertising revenues to podcasters. The spinoff hasn’t helped the company’s combined value: Trading under the name Courtside Group, the podcast company’s share price fell to $2.05 this week, 52% below its opening trading price on Sept. 8. The other streaming stocks almost broke even this week: Spotify, Tencent Music Entertainment, Cloud Music and Deezer had an average share price decline of just 0.2%.
Hipgnosis Songs Fund rose 2.8% to 0.832 pounds ($1.02) a week after dropping 12.8% on news the publicly traded investment trust plans to sell some catalogs for $465 million. The sale proceeds would fund share buybacks and repurchase debt, which Hipgnosis believes will support the beleaguered share price and reset the company’s net asset value.
Shares of Warner Music Group (WMG) dropped 4.7% to $30.76 this week following the announcement on Monday (Sept. 18) that BMG is taking control of its digital distribution and will no longer use WMG’s ADA Distribution (though it will continue to outsource its physical distribution). The news didn’t impact WMG’s share price until Wednesday (Sept. 20), when investors became aware of a report by analysts at Guggenheim that stated BMG’s decision would cause “a staggered reduction in WMG gross revenue” beginning Dec. 31 of roughly $250 million annually. Losing BMG’s digital business won’t be a major hit to WMG’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), however: Guggenheim noted that WMG’s revenue from BMG had an EBITDA margin in the low single digits and would have “minimal free cash flow impact,” analysts wrote in the investor note. Perhaps sensing WMG sellers misunderstood the economics of BMG’s departure, some buyers returned to WMG and helped the stock recapture 47% of Wednesday’s losses over the next two days. The Guggenheim has a $37 price target on WMG, which implies 20% of upside from Friday’s closing price. WMG shares
Source : Billboard