Billboard‘s Global Music Index rose 4.2% this week to 1,263.70, its high level in six weeks, as 14 of the 20 stocks in the index were in positive territory. The index’s most valuable companies were among the gainers: Universal Music Group was up 2.1%, Spotify improved 4.1%, and Live Nation climbed 6.1%.
With additional help from Warner Music Group (+5.9%) and Tencent Music Entertainment (+8.1%), the Billboard Global Music Index outperformed the major indexes. The S&P 500 rose 3.5% to 4,109.31 and the Nasdaq composite improved 3.4% to 12,221.91. In the U.K., the FTSE 100 rose 3.1%.
In the first quarter, the Billboard Global Music Index was up 8.2% overall.
Radio company Audacy was the greatest gainer of the week, improving 18.2% to $0.13. In a proxy statement filed March 24, Audacy said it will propose a reverse stock split at the company’s May 24 shareholder meeting. The New York Stock Exchange will initiate a delisting process for stocks that close below $1.00 for 30 consecutive trading days; Audacy’s share price has not exceeded $1.00 since July 5, 2022. A reverse stock split will reduce the number of outstanding shares. Since the value of the company is unaffected by the event, the reverse split will increase the share price.
Elsewhere, Madison Square Garden Entertainment (MSGE) improved 9.6% to $59.07. On Thursday (March 30), MSGE revealed its final plan to separate its live entertainment company from the rest of its businesses. On April 20, the current parent company will be renamed Sphere Entertainment Co. and be comprised of the state-of-the-art Sphere venue, MSG Networks and Tao Group Hospitality. That will leave a pure-play live entertainment company, MSG Entertainment, which includes such venues as Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall.
Competing interests drove SM Entertainment shares higher in February and early March, but the stock has fallen 36.9% in the last three weeks after dropping another 13.1% this week. The K-pop company’s share price started the year at 76,700 won ($58.71) and surged to 114,700 won ($87.79) on Feb. 10 after HYBE acquired a 14.8% stake from SM’s founder, Lee Soo-man. By March 10, when HYBE and Kakao Entertainment were locked in a battle to become SM’s largest shareholder and lead the company’s expansion following its break from Lee, SM shares hit 147,800 ($113.13). Once Kakao Corp. and Kakao Entertainment’s tender offer expired on March 26, the share price plummeted. Still, SM Entertainment shares are up 21.5% year to date.