In the first three months of 2021, the Universal Music Group (UMG) recorded an increase in sales of more than two percent compared to the previous year and an increase of 9.4 percent “at constant exchange rates and outlines”.
French conglomerate Vivendi, preparing to IPO Universal Music Group, announced these and other notable features today in its earnings breakdown for the first quarter of 2021. According to the analysis, Vivendi itself achieved a year-on-year increase in sales of five percent “with constant currency and constant volume” and an actual profit growth of 0.8 percent.
This company-wide increase in earnings was “mainly” due to a strong performance by UMG, as can be seen from the text, and came about despite pandemic-related declines in other business areas. The Big Three record label grossed around $ 2.17 billion in January, February, and March 2021, up 9.4 percent in constant currencies and 2.2 percent on an actual basis.
This total turnover was the largest of all Vivendi divisions – as was the percentage increase, apart from increases in the comparatively small Editis publishing group and the “New Initiatives” category. As an additional reference, UMG achieved profit growth of 3.8 percent over the previous year throughout 2020, which is mainly due to double-digit streaming and publishing increases.
The same was true for the first quarter of 2021, except that Universal Music Publishing Group’s revenue improved 6.9 percent in constant currencies and volumes, versus a 10.8 percent increase in recorded music revenue in constant currencies, mainly was caused by a subscription and streaming 19.6 percent increase.
In view of the ongoing pause at concerts and music festivals, UMG achieved predictably 10 percent less (at constant exchange rates) with goods and “other” sources in the first quarter of 2021 than in the first quarter of 2020 – although physical sales rose by 14.8 percent year-on-year. Better new releases and catalog sales, ”said Vivendi.
The report also notes that Universal Music Group ranked first on Spotify’s global list for 12 of the 13 weeks of the first quarter of 2021 with Olivia Rodrigo’s “Driver’s License” and Justin Bieber’s “Peaches”. In addition, the leading record label, which the CFO of Spotify had rated as “more aggressive” for advertising last year, boasted the top 3 songs in the global charts for six weeks in a row.
In the latter case, it should be noted that Bad Bunny’s YHLQMDLG campaign made Spotify’s biggest debut in 2020 – albeit after participating in a paid advertising campaign – and then generated the world’s largest streams of all artists of the year. Last week, Ticketmaster’s website crashed as a large number of fans rushed to buy tickets for the 27-year-old’s 2022 tour.
Universal Music Group is preparing to begin reopening its offices in mid-September, according to Hits Daily Double, and the company continued to make high-profile games ahead of the aforementioned IPO.
In this context, it should be emphasized that 99.98 percent of Vivendi shareholders approved a plan at the end of March that enables executives to distribute dividends – UMG shares, in this case, while the company “reached an agreement on a five-year contract for 3 Has made billions of euros [$3.6 billion] Line of financing with four leading banks “at about the same time.
In one month, Vivendi will call on its investors at an annual general meeting to “take a position on the plan to make an extraordinary distribution in kind in the form of UMG shares”. The completion of this distribution, the news relay, is expected to arrive in the fall of this year – earlier than previously assumed.
A little over two weeks ago, UMG officially launched Universal Arabic Music, roughly three weeks after signing a reinforced licensing deal with Boomplay, Africa’s leading music streaming service.