Universal Music Group Records Double-Digit Revenue, Streaming Growth In First Post-IPO Earnings Report

Universal Music Group recorded double-digit year-over-year revenue boosts in streaming, publishing, and other categories during Q3 2021.

Building upon the double-digit gains recorded during this year’s opening half, Universal Music Group in Q3 2021 – the first quarter in which it’s reported earnings as a publicly traded company – enjoyed a 15.5 percent year-over-year (YoY) hike in recorded music revenue.

The Big Three record label, which arrived on the Euronext Amsterdam (trading as UMG) in September, revealed this and other performance specifics in a newly released third-quarter 2021 earnings report, covering the three months ending on September 30th. Predictably, and in keeping with UMG’s Q1 and Q2 2021 income breakdowns – as well as those of Warner Music, Sony Music, and the broader music industry – “subscription and streaming” accounted for the lion’s share of revenue, at €1.13 billion ($1.32 billion at the present exchange rate).

This figure marks a 14 percent YoY boost (15.2 percent at constant currency), the unaudited report indicates, and “ad-supported streaming was particularly strong, due to the ongoing improvement in ad-based monetization and new and enhanced deals in social media.” Over the summer, UMG finalized licensing agreements with TikTok competitors Lomotif and Triller as well as Snapchat.

“Other digital,” including long-slipping permanent downloads, was the lone category that UMG (10 percent of which belongs to William Ackman’s Pershing Square) experienced a YoY revenue falloff (4.7 percent), the document proceeds, with physical revenue having improved by 8.9 percent in Q3, to €280 million ($325.98 million). Amid the return of crowd-based concerts and music festivals, UMG’s “merchandising and other revenue” also rebounded, this time by 13.5 percent, to €84 million ($97.91 million).

Universal Music Publishing Group – which inked a massive brand-partnership agreement with Gibson in China during Q1 2021 – turned in 19.8 percent YoY revenue growth in Q3 2021, according to the major label’s latest earnings report, generating €363 million ($422.57 million).

But it was revenue from “license and other” that achieved the most significant spike compared to Q3 2020, jumping 49.3 percent to €218 million ($253.82 million) “as a result of improvements in broadcast and neighboring rights collections, audio-visual production income and synchronization, live and brand deals.”

Lastly, regarding the earnings report’s details, Universal Music Group’s Q3 2021 adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation, and amortization) increased by 20.7 percent YoY, to €461 million ($536.93 million).

At the time of this piece’s writing – Thursday afternoon in Amsterdam – Universal Music Group stock was down about 3.2 percent from its previous close, for a per-share price of €24.93 ($29.03). Last week, Universal Music signed K-pop mainstay BTS following multiple business deals with the group’s Hybe agency. And yesterday, Spotify revealed its own third-quarter earnings specifics, while CISAC this week shed light upon its 2020 collections.

2 Responses

  1. Tom Hendricks

    Wow and total music sales still half of what they were 20 years ago. What spin to cover complete failure!

    • Dizzy

      Buy music sales are up exponentially from 70 years ago!

      I figured I would duplicate my post since you did.