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Universal Music Group Revenues Jump 13% on Recorded Music, Publishing Strength

UMG reported growth in nearly all segments -- physical excluded -- with recorded music revenues up 10.1% and publishing revenues up 6.9%.

Universal Music Group said revenues rose 13.3% to 2.66 billion euros in the third quarter at constant currency, as sales from BTS, BLACKPINK and Ado helped the world’s largest record label report growth across all segments on Thursday. Without considering changes in foreign currency exchange rates, revenues were up 23.7%.

The first of the major labels to report earnings this season, UMG said recorded music revenue grew 10.1%, music publishing revenues grew 6.9% and merchandise and other revenues grew 101.1% in the third quarter ending compared to a year ago based on constant currency conversion.


“Through our innovation, global reach, and unique understanding of the evolution of the market, we are continually improving the monetization of music and music-related content, generating high-quality revenue and recurring income from more sources than ever before,” UMG Chairman and Chief Executive Sir Lucian Grainge said in a statement.

UMG’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 9.1% compared to the year ago quarter, driven by the strong increase in revenue.

Included in the revenue growth for the quarter was a 71 million euro benefit from the settlement of a copyright infringement lawsuit with an internet service provider, the company said. UMG also said the quarter included a 21 million euro hit in its music publishing division from a change in accounting policy. These factors also provided a 52 million benefit and a 7 million euro drag respectfully to the company’s EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter.

Q3 Results:

  • Company-wide revenues rose 13.3% to $2.664 million in constant currency for the third quarter ending Sept. 30 from a year ago.
  • Recorded Music revenues rose 10.1% to €2,060 million in constant currency.
  • Subscription and streaming revenue grew 7.7% in constant currency, with subscription revenue up 8.7% in constant currency.
  • Ad-supported streaming revenue grew 5.2% in constant currency.
  • Physical revenue declined 9.6% in constant currency, which the company attributed to a weaker release schedule compared to the prior year.
  • Downloads and other digital revenue were up 55.7% in constant currency in large part due to the settlement of the copyright infringement lawsuit.
  • License and other revenue rose 30.2% in constant currency helped by strong touring revenues.
  • Merchandising and other revenue of 189 million euros was up 101.1% in constant currency due to a rebound in touring-related merchandise revenue.