Universal Music Group’s revenues rose 4.5% on a constant currency basis in the first three months of 2018 to €1.22bn ($1.5bn) – and parent company Vivendi thinks the firm is worth more than Spotify.
According to the press release, for the first quarter of 2018, revenues amounted to €1,222 mn, up 4.5% at constant currency and perimeter compared to the same period in 2017 (down 4.8% on an actual basis). Recorded music revenues were up 5.9% at constant currency and perimeter as growth in subscription and streaming revenues (+31.5%) more than offset the decline in physical (-26.2%) and download (-25.6%) sales.Physical sales were particularly strong in the first quarter of 2017, notably driven by the soundtrack releases from La LaLand, Fifty Shades Darker and Moana. For the first quarter of 2018, physical sales were also impacted by the timing of releases, with slippage into the second quarter in some markets, notably Japan, and the continued transformation of the music business. Recorded music best sellers for the first quarter of 2018 included the Black Panther soundtrack, a new release from Migos and carryover sales from Post Malone, Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar. According to Nielsen, UMG had the No. 1 album in the United States with Migos’s Culture II and the No. 1track with Drake’s God’s Plan in the first quarter of 2018. In addition, UMG songs occupied the No. 1 spot on the Spotify Global Chart for 12 weeks of the first quarter of 2018. Kendrick Lamar won the Pulitzer Prize for music for his album “DAMN.”, the first win for a non-classical or jazz musician since music was first included in the awards 75 years ago. In today’s ever increasing global music market, UMG signed an exclusive international recording agreement with Kris Wu, one of Asia’s biggest stars and an artist whose creative success spans music, film and television.
Music publishing revenues grew by 3.9% at constant currency and perimeter, also driven by increased subscription and streaming revenues, as well as better performance revenues.
Warner labels turned over $791mn in calendar Q1, while Sony labels generated the equivalent of $1.01bn. This meant that, in Q1, the three major labels turned over more than $3bn between them.
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