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Lucian Grainge
UMG's Sir Lucian Grainge. Courtesy Image.

UMG Reports A Record Breaking Year With Revenue Topping €8.5 Billion For 2021

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(CelebrityAccess) — After successfully separating from their parent Vivendi through a listing on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange, Universal Music Group reported record breaking annual revenue of more than €8.5 billion in 2021.

The revenue represented growth of 17% year-over year for UMG, driven by strong performance in the company’s music publishing, and recorded music divisions, and double digital increases in all business segments.

Streaming continued to serve as a key revenue driver for UMG in 2021, with streaming revenue up by 19.8% with strong growth in both subscription and ad-supported streaming revenues.

Ad-supported streaming was particularly strong, due to the ongoing improvement in ad-based monetization along with new and expanded deals with social media companies, including TikTok.

Digital downloads continued their long and slow slide to irrelevance with revenue down by 21.5% year-over-year, but physical continued to rebound in 2021. UMG reported revenue for physical sales was up by 18.6% year-over-year, propelled by the popularity of vinyl as well as growth in direct-to-consumer sales.

License and other revenue improved 15.5% year-over-year, or 16.5% which UMG attributed to improvements in broadcast and neighboring rights collections, audio-visual production income and synchronization, live and brand deals.

UMG’s music publishing operation also reported strong results for 2021 with revenue of €1.335, up by 2.6% year-over-year. UMG attributed the revenue growth to streaming, and sync, bolstered by catalog acquisitions that included Sting, Neil Diamond and others

“2021 was yet another historic year for UMG. We helped our artists achieve extraordinary success – including 8 of the IFPI’s top 10 global artists of the year. In addition to strong performance in streaming, we drove new areas of opportunity for our artists – ranging from merchandise to brand management, sponsorship, ecommerce, and film & television. And we expanded our partner portfolio into emerging growth areas such as health and fitness, Web3 and social video. Our success in all these efforts showed in our financial performance – revenues increased by 17% on a constant currency basis, Adjusted EBITDA margin expanded and Free cash flow improved significantly. Going forward, we see the industry continuing to grow and – with our unique experience, our deep understanding of the business and the vast artist relationships and global creative networks – we expect to further strengthen our position as the industry leader as we continue to break new artists and build on our world-class catalogue,” said Sir Lucian Grainge, UMG’s Chairman and CEO.

“We are generating robust Free cash flow even as we continue to opportunistically and selectively invest in artists and catalogues that will be additive to the long-term health of our business”, added Boyd Muir, EVP, CFO and President of Operations for UMG. “Our core business is well positioned for a strong 2022, which aligns with the plan we have set to achieve our previously announced mid-term targets.”


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