Every time the world gets a look at the Sphere’s eye-popping visual display technology, the company’s share price goes up. And this week was no exception, with Sphere Entertainment shares gaining 7.1% to $37.47 — leading all music stocks — after film director Darren Aronofsky posted a short video to Instagram that showed off the size and clarity of the venue’s giant indoor screen as it played his new documentary, Postcard From Earth, which is designed to showcase the Sphere’s immersive technology. (The film debuts on Oct. 6.)

Previously, Sphere Entertainment got a 23% boost in July after it turned on the outer display — the Exosphere — that covers the 366-foot-tall venue. Just as Aronofsky’s video quickly traveled the internet, the Exosphere captured worldwide media attention and continues to attract viewers to a 24/7 livestream camera. On the live music front, U2 will christen the Sphere with a 24-date residency that begins Sept. 29 and runs through Dec. 16. 

Overall, the Billboard Global Music Index rose 0.5% to 1,355.68, bringing the year-to-date gain to 16.1%. In a subdued week for stocks, 12 of the index’s 21 stocks finished the week in positive territory while 14 stocks fell within three percentage points (either higher or lower) of breaking even. Led by Sphere’s gain and aided by Live Nation’s 3.6% improvement, live music stocks had an average weekly gain of 2%, while labels and publishers lost an average of 0.6%. Streaming and radio companies fell an average of 1.6% and 1.7%, respectively.

In the United States, two closely followed indexes were slightly down this week: The S&P 500 dropped 0.2% and the Nasdaq composite fell 0.4%. In the United Kingdom, the FTSE 100 improved 3.1%, while South Korea’s KOSPI composite index gained 2.1%. 

Shares of Hipgnosis Songs Fund fell 12.4% this week, negating much of the 15.5% boost the London Stock Exchange-listed royalty fund received the prior week following news that Round Hill Music Royalty Fund would be acquired by Concord. On Thursday, Hipgnosis Songs Fund announced a $465 million catalog sale — most of it to a private fund, Hipgnosis Songs Capital, which shares the same investment manager, Hipgnosis Song Management — that will fund share buybacks and the repayment of some debt.

Glenn Peoples
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