Whoever it was that decided Warner Music Group should delay its IPO last week deserves a pay rise from Len Blavatnik. Unless it was actually Len Blavatnik who made the decision – because, y’know, he doesn’t really need a pay rise.

As frustrating as it must have been for would-be WMG shareholders to witness the company freeze its plotted public flotation in the US, Warner has avoided a whole lotta hurt on the stock market as a result.

As you may have read elsewhere, today (March 9) has been an abomination for stock market investors worldwide – the worst day, some say, since the 2008 financial crash. Friday (March 6) wasn’t much better. Today alone, the S&P 500 – a key index reflecting the performance of 500 the USA’s largest companies – fell 7.6%.

The ongoing consumer reaction to the spread of Coronavirus (in short: stay home, don’t travel, avoid public gatherings) has contributed to an almighty sell-off of company shares in multiple markets, and a nosedive in the valuations of public companies worldwide.

This situation has been exacerbated today (‘Black Monday’) by a row between Russia and Saudi Arabia that has seen oil prices plunge.

Logic dictates that companies relying on the success of music rights (and other entertainment content) should be better protected than others (travel and event companies, for example) over the Coronavirus market negativity.

Yet that doesn’t mean the likes of Universal Music Group parent Vivendi or Sony Music Group parent Sony Corp, as well as Spotify, Tencent Music Entertainment and – of course – Live Nation, haven’t each seen their value significantly affected by COVID-19 panic on the markets.

Courtesy Music Business World