The half-year financials of Vivendi, parent company of Universal Music Group (UMG), the world largest music conglomerate, indicate that the Paris-based media giant is a steady ship that’s keeping an eye on the future. Over the first half of the year Vivendi snapped up mobile game maker Gameloft. Chairman Vincent Bolloré is no doubt hoping this video game play is a keeper; the company sold off Activision Blizzard, makers of the popular World of Warcraft, for a profit of €576 million.
The company estimates its total assets to be worth €30.5 billion across its various segments, which include UMG, Canal+ Group, Vivendi Village, Dailymotion and Vivendi Content. Total revenues fell one percent year-over-year, to €5.04 billion ($5.68 billion). Adjusted net income for the group fell 13.1 percent year-over-year, to €286 million from €329 million.
The topline figure for UMG is the continuing revenue increases brought by streaming — revenues from that sector of UMG’s business were up 62.4 percent, “which more than offset the decline in both digital download and physical sales,” Vivendi writes.
UMG’s earnings before interest, taxes and amortization were €177 million, up 3.7 percent year-over-year. Total earnings were €2.3 billion, up 1.6 percent on a constant currency basis.
Top albums for the group were Drake, Rihanna and Ariana Grande. The company also claims four of the top five most-streamed records over the period (Drake, Rihanna and Justin Bieber). Two of those artists, Drake and Rihanna, released their records behind exclusivity windows with Apple Music and Tidal, respectively — a practice that UMG chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge has said would be curtailed going forward.