On Thursday, French media conglomerate Vivendi’s Universal Music Group reported revenue of €1,809 million for the first fiscal quarter of 2021, up 9.4% from the same period the previous year.
Recorded music revenues grew by 10.8%, driven by growth in subscriptions for music streaming and in spite of a digital royalty claim in the first quarter of 2020.
Surprisingly, UMG saw physical sales grow by 14.8% in the quarter on the strength of UMG’s new releases and catalog sales, the company said.
Recorded music best sellers for the first quarter of 2021 included new releases from King & Prince and Justin Bieber, as well as continued sales from The Weeknd, Ariana Grande and Pop Smoke.
Revenue grew for UMG’s music publishing business, up by 6.9% when measured against the same period in 2020. However, revenue from UMG’s merchandise operation was down 10.0% at constant currency from the previous year, which Vivendi attributed to the lingering effects of the pernicious pandemic.
Vivendi also revealed that the planned IPO for UMG has been moved up from early 2022 to fall of 2021.