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From Utopia Music downsizing its workforce to Warner’s $1.5bn in calendar Q3… 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 Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximise their income and reduce their touring costs.


This week, Utopia Music became the latest company to significantly cut the size of its global workforce.

The acquisitive Switzerland-headquartered company confirmed to MBW that it has made a number of layoffs.

A Utopia spokesperson told us that, “Like many growth companies in today’s macroeconomic environment, Utopia is making changes to its internal structure to optimize the business”.

News of job losses at Utopia follows a wave of layoffs sweeping across the tech-leaning side of the global music business.

Also this week, Warner Music Group reported its financial results for calendar Q3 2022 (the three months to end of September).

The company told investors that it generated total revenues of USD $1.497 billion across recorded music, music publishing and other activities, up 16% YoY at constant currency.

This quarterly earnings announcement was the last in Steve Cooper‘s 11-year tenure as Chief Executive of WMG; Cooper will be succeeded in the role in the New Year by YouTube‘s Chief Business Officer, Robert Kyncyl.

Elsewhere, Universal Music Group-owned Deutsche Grammophon, which claims to be the world’s oldest record label, unveiled its own high-res classical music streaming service.

Plus, artist financing platform beatBread closed a $100 million institutional fund, while a Senate committee plans to hold a hearing to examine the US ticketing industry.

Here’s what happened this week…


1) UTOPIA MUSIC MAKES LAYOFFS AS IT DOWNSIZES GLOBAL WORKFORCE

Utopia Music has become the latest company to significantly cut the size of its global workforce.

The acquisitive Switzerland-headquartered company has confirmed to MBW that it has made a number of layoffs.

Sources suggest these cuts have primarily come in Utopia’s central team – including some high-level executives – as well as its tech-focused workforce.

To date, Utopia’s tech employees have been tasked with building the firm’s proprietary music monitoring platform, sometimes referenced as the ‘Utopia Open Platform’ (UOP).

MBW understands that Utopia’s global team numbers 1,200 people. That figure includes both contractors and around 800 employees…


Warner Music Group CEO, Steve Cooper

2) WARNER MUSIC GROUP GENERATED $92M FROM ‘EMERGING PLATFORMS’ IN CALENDAR Q3 – AND OTHER TAKEAWAYS FROM STEVE COOPER’S LAST EARNINGS CALL WITH WMG

Warner Music Group‘s earnings call on Tuesday (November 22) ended on an upbeat note – and it’s easy to see why.

WMG posted revenues of $1.5 billion for the three months to end of September (up 16% YoY at constant currency), with adjusted EBITDA also up by 16% YoY.

As a result, WMG’s share price flew upward by 15% on Tuesday, as Bank Of America upgraded the firm’s stock.

Fittingly, this glowing quarterly earnings announcement was the last in Steve Cooper’s 11-year tenure as Chief Executive of WMG; Cooper will be succeeded in the role in the New Year by YouTube’s Chief Business Officer, Robert Kyncyl…


3) UNIVERSAL JUST LAUNCHED ITS OWN STREAMING SERVICE FOR CLASSICAL MUSIC VIA DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON

Universal Music Group-owned Deutsche Grammophon, which claims to be the world’s oldest record label, just launched its own high-res classical music streaming service.

Called STAGE+, the service is described by Deutsche Grammophon in a press release as “ground-breaking”. The label calls it the “latest milestone in classical music’s digital development”.

According to the STAGE+ website, a subscription for the service will cost EUR €14.90 per month, or €149 per year…


4) ARTIST FINANCING PLATFORM BEATBREAD CLOSES $100M FUND TO ‘EMPOWER INDEPENDENT ARTISTS AND LABELS’

Music funding platform beatBread has been making a lot of head-turning headlines this year.

In February, for example, the firm raised $34 million in a seed round led by Fintech-focused venture capital firm, Deciens Capital.

Over the summer, beatBread struck what it said was a “seven-figure artist financing deal” with singer-songwriter Elley Duhé – its biggest deal yet.

Now, MBW can reveal that beatBread has big plans to accelerate its growth in the artist funding space, and it’s just closed a $100 million institutional fund with asset manager Variant Investments to do so..


5) SENATE COMMITTEE TO HOLD TICKET INDUSTRY COMPETITION HEARING AFTER TAYLOR SWIFT TOUR SALE DRAMA

US Senators Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, confirmed on Tuesday (November 22) that they will hold a hearing to “examine” what they say is a “lack of competition in the ticketing industry”.

In a press release, they write that hearing follows the “significant service failures and delays on Ticketmaster’s website that left fans unable to purchase concert tickets”.

Klobuchar and Lee said that the hearing date and witnesses will be announced at a later date…


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

Music Business Worldwide

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