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motiveunknown : umg   66

What UMG’s IPO Means for the Business of Music
Innovating in new revenue streams (e.g. creator tools) and new business models (e.g. streaming services that monetise fandom rather than consumption) is more promising. There is an opportunity here for UMG and WMG to supercharge growth beyond the coming streaming slowdown. In fact, MIDiA would go further and say there is an imperative to do so. Larger independents such as Downtown Music Holdings, Kobalt, BMG and Concord are collectively taking billions worth of capital and investing it in growing their businesses. If the majors do not follow suit, then they will lose ground to this emerging generation of innovative music companies.
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6 weeks ago by motiveunknown
Universal Music Group is now an $8bn-a-year company, as streaming revenues surge 21.5% in record 2019
But, right now, any news about Universal is bound to be over-shadowed by a much bigger headline: that, in addition to the 10% of the company being acquired by a Tencent-led consortium for over $3bn, UMG parent Vivendi has now announced plans to spin out a further portion of its music firm onto the stock market within the next three years. Anything else we write about Universal’s fiscal situation probably seems pretty academic after that IPO bombshell, right? But here we are. Let’s have a crack anyway.
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6 weeks ago by motiveunknown
Official: Universal Music Group to sell 10% stake, worth over $3bn, to Tencent-led Consortium
Tencent Holdings Ltd has today (December 31) informed its shareholders that a Tencent-led Consortium has signed a share purchase agreement with Vivendi to acquire 10% of Universal Music Group. The deal has been struck with UMG holding an enterprise value of €30bn ($33.6bn), meaning that over $3bn will land in Vivendi’s coffers as a result of the acquisition. The Tencent-led Consortium is joined by Tencent Music Entertainment Group and undisclosed ‘global financial investors’.
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11 weeks ago by motiveunknown
Impala to oppose Tencent investment in Universal Music Group
Independent-music body Impala has come out against plans for Chinese technology company Tencent to buy a 10% stake in Universal Music Group, with an option to buy a further 10%. “Even at a low level of shareholding, we believe the risk of harm for consumers and competitors from such a transaction would be a concern because of the impact in both the digital market and the music sector, with independents being squeezed further and artists also losing out,” said Impala’s executive chair Helen Smith, in a statement this morning.
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november 2019 by motiveunknown
Universal Music Debuts Its Own Artists Analytics to Rival Spotify's
The app — called “Universal Music Artists” and available to UMG’s entire artist roster — offers personalized details such as total audience size, YouTube views, listeners and streams by platform, top countries, demographic information, top-performing social-media posts, and push notifications when songs are added to top global playlists. UMG bills it as the first all-in-one app for artist analytics, and plans to introduce further features such as enhanced audience insights and anomaly detection powered by machine-learning tools next year
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november 2019 by motiveunknown
Universal Music Group attracting new bidders after $33 billion valuation
UMG parent Vivendi on Thursday said unnamed investors are seeking to follow Chinese investment firm Tencent Holdings in acquiring a stake in the world’s largest music label, which counts Ariana Grande (right), Elton John and Taylor Swift among its roster of artists. “Some have already expressed an interest in investing at a similar price level,” Vivendi said, referring to Tencent’s plans to acquire a 10 percent stake in Universal for $3.3 billion.
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october 2019 by motiveunknown
UMG Revenues Up 18.6% To $2B In Q3 2019
Universal Music Group’s (UMG) revenues amounted to €3,258 million, up 18.6% at constant currency and perimeter compared to the first half of 2018 (+24.0% on an actual basis). Recorded music revenues grew by 16.9% at constant currency and perimeter thanks to the growth in subscription and streaming revenues (+25.5%) and strong physical sales in the first half of 2019 (+15.0%), which more than offset the continued decline in download sales (-19.7%).
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october 2019 by motiveunknown
How Universal Music Group plans to grow—through video
"As a company whose responsibility it is to effectively connect artists with the fans and deepen that emotional bond, we need to embrace the opportunities that other forms of entertainment provide for our artists to connect with fans in a more meaningful way," says Moffitt. "Screened entertainment is the obvious one just because there's so much consumption of it. The latest stats I saw in the entertainment category of how people spend their time, [streaming video on-demand] and television together accounted for half of the time people are spending with entertainment, whereas music is somewhere around a quarter of the time."
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october 2019 by motiveunknown
UMG content strategist: Podcasts 'could potentially rival share of ear for music consumption'
According to Moffitt, “at current rates of consumption and rates of growth, [podcasts] could potentially rival the share of ear for music consumption, so obviously that’s something we are keeping our eye on”. “That’s why we want to be in it while it’s in this developing stage,” he added. “That’s part of the reason why we really felt like [Wondery founder Hernan Lopez] would be a good partner. His background in television; Fox International and the way that is a lens on how he sees this opportunity just fits really well with where we are.
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october 2019 by motiveunknown
Universal's TuneCore rival, Spinnup, gets UK relaunch via UMOD partnership
Spinnup, the distribution platform originally launched in Sweden in 2013 by Universal Music Group has ‘accelerated’ its presence in the UK via a partnership with Universal Music On Demand (UMOD). As part of the relaunch, the platform will be branching out into educational, live and commercial ventures in 2019. Spinnup allows artists to distribute their music to all major streaming platforms whilst keeping 100% of their rights and royalties. The platform also operates as an A&R tool, with UMOD’s team “constantly listening to new music uploaded”.
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september 2019 by motiveunknown
UMG’s schlager YouTube channel is doing 30m views a month
Schlager is very much a German phenomenon (“a catchy instrumental accompaniment to vocal pieces of pop music with simple, happy-go-lucky, and often sentimental lyrics,” as Wikipedia describes it), and one that’s traditionally more associated with CD sales than streaming innovation. Yet Universal’s marketing labs division created a YouTube brand for the genre, and according to Briegmann that channel is now generating more than 30m monthly views from its nearly-700,000 subscribers. “Now this brand is, next to physical products, also commercialised live as an event for the first time,” he said.
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september 2019 by motiveunknown
Universal now generating over $10m a day from streaming, as it posts record half-year results
Universal Music Group’s recorded music revenues from streaming jumped up 32.1% – or 25.5% at constant currency – in the first half of 2019. According to new H1 financial results from UMG parent Vivendi issued today (July 25), Universal generated €1.57bn ($1.77bn) from streaming in the six month period to end of June this year. The firm’s overall recorded music revenues hit a record €2.596bn ($2.93bn), up 22.4% (or 16.9% at constant currency). Overall half-year revenues at UMG’s wider company – including recorded music, plus publishing, merchandise and more – reached €3.26bn ($3.68bn). That was another all-time record, up 24.0% year-on-year, and 18.6% at constant currency.
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july 2019 by motiveunknown
Universal Music Group Fire Class Action Could Come Down to One Thing: Who Owns the Masters?
The plaintiffs assert that UMG breached its responsibility to protect the tapes lost -- which held as many as 500,000 songs, according to an investigation in The New York Times Magazine, although a UMG archivist said the damage was "overstated." But most recording contracts don't explicitly mention that responsibility, and there's a legal distinction between the physical recordings and the intellectual property they contain.
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june 2019 by motiveunknown
Universal Music Cashed In On Insurance After It Let Thousands Of Master Recordings Burn... And Didn't Give Any To Artists
Third, and most importantly, UMG decided to cash in on the loss -- and not tell the artists about it. First, it sued its landlord and former partner company, Universal Studios. The two companies settled for an undisclosed sum. None of that went to artists. Then, there was the insurance. All in all, according to the lawsuit filed on Friday, Universal Music in its fight with Universal Studios and various insurance companies valued the losses at $150 million. Remember the "nothing was lost" quotes above? Behind the scenes, UMG was saying it lost $150 million, and asking others to pay for it. And you know who got none of that and likely didn't even know their masters had been destroyed? The artists.
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june 2019 by motiveunknown
The US must decide if China owning part of Taylor Swift and Rihanna's record label is a national-security risk
The interagency committee reviews acquisitions of US companies by foreign firms for possible national-security risks. In order to block Universal's partial sale, the committee would have to argue that Tencent's investment in Universal is a risk to national security. Since labels collect data on peoples' listening habits — a practice further enabled by the rise of online streaming — such an argument is a legitimate possibility. This is true even though Vivendi is a French company and despite the fact that it's looking to divest less than half of Universal. Ultimately, the CFIUS's scope covers any company with substantial US operations.
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june 2019 by motiveunknown
Universal Music Vault Fire: Nirvana, Aretha Franklin, Tupac Shakur, Elton John & More Reportedly Lost Masters
A more complete picture of the losses incurred in the 2008 Universal Music Group (UMG) fire has been revealed in a new article published in The New York Times Magazine. The report includes a list of hundreds of artists whose tapes were seemingly lost in the blaze, from musical icons such as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Dolly Parton to historically-significant but lesser-known figures like Les Paul, Captain Beefheart and Alice Coltrane. The list which was compiled from three separate UMG lists obtained by the Times that were prepared for an initiative entitled Project Phoenix, which the company mounted in an attempt to track down replacement copies and duplicates of destroyed masters.
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june 2019 by motiveunknown
Universal Music Group Hit With Class Action Lawsuit by Tupac Estate, Soundgarden & More Over 2008 Vault Fire
The lawsuit was filed by Soundgarden, Tom Whalley on behalf of the Afeni Shakur Trust that oversees Tupac Shakur's estate, Tom Petty's ex-wife Jane Petty, Hole and Steve Earle. They are seeking to recover half of any settlement proceeds and insurance payments received by UMG and half of any remaining loss of value not compensated by such settlement proceeds and insurance payments. According to the lawsuit, UMG's litigation and insurance claims following the fire were reportedly valued at $150 million to recoup the value of the master recordings -- none of which was directly shared with artists.
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june 2019 by motiveunknown
Vivendi Chairman Says Universal Music Group Sale 'Still On Track' -- Just Not This Year
"As you may know the music industry is going through a huge period of growth and the business is thriving and we want to make sure we can accelerate this growth in the coming years," he said. "So, for now we have communicated that we want to open up the process before the end of 2019 and all the management of Vivendi is very confident that the process is still on track."
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june 2019 by motiveunknown
Read Lucian Grainge’s Letter to Staff About Universal Music Fire
While Grainge emphasizes that digital copies exist of most of the destroyed tapes, he uses language that owns up to the extent of the loss to a greater degree than the company’s past statements, on and off the record, have. “Let me be clear: we owe our artists transparency. We owe them answers. I will ensure that the senior management of this company, starting with me, owns this,” he writes.
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june 2019 by motiveunknown
Universal Music Group enters strategic partnership with AI firm Super Hi-Fi
Universal Music Group (UMG) has entered into a strategic partnership with Super Hi-Fi, an artificial intelligence-based programming company that delivers song transition, voice-over and artist interview insertion solutions for music service providers. The companies will work together to introduce Super Hi-Fi’s AI technology to UMG’s partners across the globe and to co-develop new ways to enhance and promote UMG artists and music.
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june 2019 by motiveunknown
Universal Music Group Partners With AI Tech Company Super Hi-Fi
Universal Music Group (UMG) and the artificial intelligence-based programming company Super Hi-Fi have entered a strategic partnership that will provide UMG artists with AI-enabled tools to engage with their fans, the companies announced Wednesday (June 5). Super Hi-Fi’s AI technology gives digital music services the ability to “deliver enhanced listening experiences," the company claims, "including human-level song transitions, precise crossfades, sonic leveling, truly gapless playback, audio branding, audio ad stitching and other voice-based audio solutions such as artist and track information and audio news headlines.”
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june 2019 by motiveunknown
Universal holds preliminary sale talks with Tencent – but is slow deal progress a danger sign?
Today, two important bits of news. The first, headline-grabbing suggestion, from a Bloomberg report, is that Vivendi is facing difficulties in the sale process of UMG. The publication cites sources who say “some private equity investors balk at the high price and slow pace of the deal”. Vivendi is still yet to formally hire advisers, says Bloomberg, more than five weeks after the company announced its (and UMG’s) Q1 results. Reportedly, “several financial investors” have already lost interest in a UMG deal. However, the second part of Bloomberg’s story may prove even more important: it reveals that Vivendi has already held talks with Tencent Holdings Ltd about a minority investment in Universal Music Group.
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may 2019 by motiveunknown
Universal Music files motion to dismiss potentially explosive termination rights case
It remains to be seen how the court responds to Universal’s filing. Between the original lawsuit and the major’s response, there are plenty of legal technicalities to be explored if this case gets properly to court. Which would probably make for a long drawn out legal battle. Though if the artists were to win, this case could have big ramifications for all heritage acts and all record companies, and especially the catalogue-rich majors.
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may 2019 by motiveunknown
Apple Music execs JJ Corsini and Chris Hovsepian join Universal in senior Artist Development roles
Universal Music Group (UMG) has hired JJ Corsini and Chris Hovsepian as Senior Vice President, Artist Development, effective Wed., May 1. They join from Apple Music, where they served as key members of the company’s Global Artist Relations team since the launch of the streaming service. Corsini and Hovsepian will work alongside UMG’s repertoire sources in more than 60 countries to develop and coordinate long-term development strategies for UMG artists at all stages of their careers.
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april 2019 by motiveunknown
Universal Music Group Teams With Podcast Firm Wondery
Yet another music company is hopping on the podcast bandwagon. Universal Music Group has joined forces with independent podcast publisher Wondery to develop original podcasts drawing from the major label's music roster. Under the agreement, the new podcasts will be available globally on any platform Wondery content is linked to, which now includes Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.
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april 2019 by motiveunknown
Universal close to generating $10m per day from streaming, as Q1 label revenues grow 19.2%
Universal Music Group’s recorded music operation turned over €1.208bn ($1.37bn) in the first three months of 2019 – up 19.2% year-on-year at constant currency. Some €737m ($837m) of this money was generated by streaming, according to the latest financial results from UMG parent Vivendi, revealed today (April 15). That means that Universal’s labels are now amassing approximately $9.3m per day from the likes of Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and YouTube. As such, streaming made up 61% of UMG’s overall recorded music revenues in the quarter.
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april 2019 by motiveunknown
Universal Music Group sale to Google 'would be blocked', says IMPALA
Speaking to MBW, Helen Smith (pictured main), Executive Chair of Independent music trade body IMPALA, has said that any attempted sale of UMG to Google would be blocked “because of the impact in both the digital market and the music sector”. Furthermore, argued Smith, speaking at the IMPALA board meeting on Friday, April 5, “none of the possible purchasers of Universal [Music Group] mentioned so far would secure regulatory approval”.
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april 2019 by motiveunknown
Big question: Could Google buy Universal Music Group?
What’s more, there’s believed to be mutual respect between Susan Wojcicki, YouTube’s CEO, and Universal Music Group Chairman and CEO, Sir Lucian Grainge (pictured) – though whether that’s worth anything when UMG’s potential buyers sit around Vivendi’s negotiating table is something of an unknown. Then there’s the piddling matter of the Benjamins. As mentioned, many suspect that Vivendi will sell half if not more of Universal Music Group if it can gain an offer somewhere in the region of $40 billion. Alphabet ended 2018 with cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities of $109 billion. Google’s got the money to buy Universal, then – but does it have the desire? Watch this space.
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march 2019 by motiveunknown
Universal Music UK's Globe and The Chemical Brothers team up on Formula 1 brand partnership
Universal Music UK’s in-house creative agency Globe and The Chemical Brothers have teamed up on a brand partnership with Formula 1, in what the division is calling one of its “biggest collaborations to date”. The partnership, managed by Globe, saw The Chemical Brothers create a three second track called  WGTT15000BPM F1 NEEEUM MIX, which will be used as the sport’s “new global sonic identity”.
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march 2019 by motiveunknown
Liberty Media: We're still interested in buying a stake in Universal – but we'd probably prefer to control it
When asked a question on Universal Music Group yesterday, Maffei said: “If you look at [SiriusXM], one of the largest, if not the largest cost they have is to the content suppliers… [so] understanding how you might hedge some of those costs is interesting. An ownership stake in Universal Music could [therefore] be interesting.” He added: “I was asked [in November], would you look at [Universal]? Of course. It’s huge supplier to us and an important constituent in the music space. So [when] Vivendi announced that they were going to potentially seek partners, we certainly would express interest.”
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march 2019 by motiveunknown
Tencent and KKR are mulling $22.7bn Universal Music Group bids
According to Reuters sources, Chinese media giant Tencent and global investments group KKR are both mulling acquisition bids for Universal. Each of these bids are potentially worth up to €20bn ($22.73bn) for up to half of UMG – suggesting that the duo’s interest would value Universal at somewhere around $46bn. Reuters further reports that UMG parent Vivendi is in the process of selecting banks to assist in the partial sale of the music company. These banking partners are expected to be appointed in March, with a sale process kicking off in Q2. However, it appears early-stage, informal discussions about a sale are already underway with potentially interested parties.
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february 2019 by motiveunknown
Universal Music CEO to artists: Fine-tune your lyrics for smart speakers
He uses the example of the timeless hit, perennially popular among the global toddler population, "How Much Is That Doggy In The Window?" to explain that the title of a song must be front and center in a song's lyrics. "If you've got something that is a brand, is a soundtrack, is a song where the title is in the chorus and the melodies, we're seeing really explosive data and activity," he said. "That helps us in the creative process because it enables us, with the data and with consumption, to use the technology to say to the talent, you need to have something as basic as the song title [...] in the chorus."
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february 2019 by motiveunknown
Universal Music Group valuation hits $50bn – as Vivendi seeks 'half dozen' investment bank partners
Now, that high-water mark has been hoisted skyward yet again. This time, it’s JPMorgan, which has just stuck a gigantic €44bn ($50bn) ‘fair value’ price-tag on UMG. In a new report from JPMorgan Cazenove, media analyst Daniel Kerven describes UMG as “a unique asset” which owns and controls “undermonetized, must-have, global content that is strategic to the tech giants and can’t be replicated”. The $50bn valuation is worth no less than 48.8 times Universal’s latest annual EBITA (earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization).
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february 2019 by motiveunknown
Universal fully acquires Ingrooves Music Group
Universal Music Group is acquiring Ingrooves Music Group. UMG has been a minority investor in Ingrooves since 2006, and is thought to currently hold approximately 20% in the independent music distribution and marketing company. By buying the remaining 80% in Ingrooves – which is HQ’d in Encino, Los Angeles – UMG will gain sole control of the firm’s approximate 2% market share in the United States.
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february 2019 by motiveunknown
Universal Music Group posts record $7.1bn in 2018 revenues, with a $1bn EBITA
As revealed in new numbers from parent Vivendi today (February 14), UMG’s total annual revenues – across records, publishing, merch and more – hit €6.023bn ($7.15bn) last year. The company’s full-year 2018 EBITA (earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization) landed at €902m ($1.07bn), up 22.1% year-on-year at constant currency. EBITA is the best indicator of profitability within Universal’s numbers.
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february 2019 by motiveunknown
A Storm Is Coming to the Global Music Industry — and More than $100 Billion Is at Stake
Deutsche Bank isn’t an outlier on this matter. In a different January report, Morgan Stanley suggested that UMG was worth $29 billion at a “base valuation” — but that in a “bull case” the company could be worth anywhere up to a staggering $42 billion. This “bull case” was predicated on Morgan Stanley’s hypothetical projection that 700 million new people start paying for music streaming services over the next decade — in addition to intense market demand for a stake in UMG. A congested pool of would-be buyers, said Morgan Stanley, could “create competitive tension . . . and potentially yield [a $42 billion] ‘trophy’ valuation.”
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february 2019 by motiveunknown
Musicians Attempt Class-Action Lawsuits Against UMG & Sony to Reclaim Rights to Recordings
The newest lawsuits state that UMG and Sony are regularly taking the position in response to termination notices that recordings are "works made for hire" because of contractual language in recording agreements. "As a result of UMG’s policy, UMG has refused to acknowledge that any recording artist has the right to take over control of the sound recordings, or enter into an agreement with a different label for the exploitation of recordings, after the effective date of termination," states the complaint.
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february 2019 by motiveunknown
Africa and music: ‘We’re here to stay, and you’re going to know about it!’
She said she’s not feeling threatened by the moves being made by international major labels – for example Universal Music has opened offices in Africa recently. “Universal are in the market but I’m not so much threatened by them. I don’t think the approach was right. They are still really trying to understand the market, and how do we make this work?” she said. “Coming in to the market, it’s one thing to be present in the market, it’s another to be effective. And I think that comes from collaboration with people who are already there, rather than throwing your weight around.” Nielsen agreed, saying that a lot of the bigger African artists who’d be most interesting for the international majors are sitting back and asking “This is my business: what are you adding to it?”
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january 2019 by motiveunknown
Universal Music Group Merchandising Arm Bravado Acquires Epic Rights
Universal Music Group-owned Bravado has acquired Epic Rights, the Los Angeles-based merchandising and branding company that counts KISS, Britney Spears, Aerosmith, *NSYNC, Def Leppard, Billy Joel and David Bowie, among others, on its roster. Epic Rights was launched in 2014 by Dell Furano, a pioneer of music merchandising who co-founded Winterland Productions in the 1970s with legendary concert promoter Bill Graham. Furano later became CEO of Sony Signatures, which was acquired by Live Nation in 2008 after which he served as chief executive of Live Nation Merchandise.
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january 2019 by motiveunknown
Just Who Would Buy Universal Music?
Access Industries is the one that really catches the eye though. Alongside WMG, the Access portfolio includes Perform, Deezer and First Access Entertainment. On the surface Access might appear to be a problematic buyer as it owns WMG. But compared to many other potential investors, it is clearly committed to music and media, and is likely to have a strategic vision that is more aligned with UMG’s than many other potential suitors.
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january 2019 by motiveunknown
Deutsche Bank Puts Universal Music's Value at $33.3 Billion
Deutsche Bank analysts are bullish on the world's largest record label. The Frankfurt-based financial giant has raised Universal Music Group's value to €29 billion ($33.3 billion), up considerably from its last assessment (€20 billion) and higher still than UMG's own parent company, Vivendi, which has a current market cap of €28.3B ($32.3 billion). Still, the $33.3 billion valuation is less than the $40 billion figure Vivendi put on UMG in 2017, ahead of its decision last summer to sell up to 50 percent of the label group, which includes such imprints as Capitol, Republic, Def Jam and Interscope, among others.
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january 2019 by motiveunknown
Universal will ignore artists' unrecouped balances when it pays out Spotify share money... thanks to Taylor Swift
Writing on Instagram to announce her new deal with UMG, Swift wrote: “There was one condition which meant more to me than any other deal point. As part of my new contract with Universal Music Group, I asked that any sale of their Spotify shares result in a distribution of money to their artists, non-recoupable.” She added: “They have generously agreed to this, at what they believe will be much better terms than paid out previously by other major labels. I see this as a sign that we are headed towards positive change for creators – a goal I’m never going to stop trying to help to achieve, in whatever ways I can. I’m so happy to have Sir Lucian Grainge as a partner in these efforts.”
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november 2018 by motiveunknown
Liberty Media: We're 'absolutely' interested at looking into buying a stake in Universal Music Group
Back in August, shortly after we learned that Vivendi was planning to sell up to 50% of Universal Music Group, MBW suggested that US-based Liberty Media may emerge as a candidate in the scrabble to buy a chunk of the world’s biggest music rights company. Then, a month later, SiriusXM, majority-owned by Liberty, announced that it had fully acquired Pandora for $3.5bn. This led us to suggest whether Liberty Media could build a true ‘full-stack’ music company – more officially tying together its ownership, or part ownership, of Live Nation, SiriusXM and Pandora. And, therefore, whether a strategic acquisition of a stake in UMG might be under serious consideration. Yesterday (November 14), we got our answer. And it’s a big fat yes.
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november 2018 by motiveunknown
Universal becomes first major to license Africa's biggest streaming platform, Boomplay
Universal Music Group has agreed a deal to license its catalog to Boomplay, the streaming and download service which covers multiple markets in Africa. UMG becomes the first major music company to license the service, which is the most popular streaming service in the region. Boomplay, which launched in 2015, is jointly owned by two large-scale Chinese companies, as part of their Transsnet Music Limited JV: Transsion Holdings – a Chinese manufacturer that is currently the number one smartphone ...
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november 2018 by motiveunknown
Universal Music and ESL team up for esports music label
The companies are launching a joint-venture label, which will sign artists and promote their music across ESL’s esports tournaments and channels. That will include live performances during ESL’s broadcasts, which it says attracted more than 300 million online viewers in 2017. UMG and ESL are also promising to create “the ultimate destination for gaming and music fans alike” to listen to music associated with ESL’s events around the world, which include the Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One and ESL National Championships.
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august 2018 by motiveunknown
Vivendi Plans to Sell Up to Half of Universal Music Group, Rules Out IPO
French media conglomerate Vivendi announced on Monday it would seek out buyers to purchase up to half of its music unit, Universal Music Group. Contained in a section of its mid-year financials on the "future evolution" of UMG's share capital, Vivendi said it will soon be engaging banks in order to help identify potential "strategic partners," and that it hoped a transaction can be made this fall with a target completion date within the next year and a half.
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july 2018 by motiveunknown
Universal Music targets monthly accounting to artists
Universal Music Group’s head of royalties Cindy Oliver has been talking about the major label’s moves towards accounting to artists on a monthly, rather than a quarterly or semi-annual basis. This is based on the label group’s ‘Global Clearinghouse’ initiative, which went live earlier this month. “Since we’ll have monthly ingestion and reporting of financial data, we’re ­revamping our local royalty systems around the world so they’ll be able to account to artists on a monthly basis,” Oliver told Billboard.
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july 2018 by motiveunknown
Universal Music Grows African Presence With Launch Of Nigeria Division
Universal Music is further growing its operations in Western Africa with the launch of its first dedicated label in Nigeria. Based in Lagos, Universal Music Nigeria will be headed by veteran executive Ezegozie Eze Jr., who has previously held roles at South African-based Channel O Television, Nigerian independent label Empire Mates Entertainment and was a founder of Pan-African creative companies, Republic 54, Alore Group and Duma Collective. He will report to Sipho Dlamini, managing director of Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to Nigeria, the label will cover neighboring English speaking-markets Ghana and Gambia.
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july 2018 by motiveunknown
Universal agrees licensing deal with AI-powered video sharing platform Triller
Universal Music Group has agreed a licensing deal for AI-powered music video creating and sharing platform Triller. The deal will give Triller’s 28 million users access to UMG’s full catalog of songs to back personalised music videos. Launching in 2015, Triller allows users to create professional-looking videos in a matter of seconds.
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june 2018 by motiveunknown
Universal Music Group, All Def Media Expand Partnership
Universal Music Group and multi-platform content company All Def Media have announced an expansion in their partnership that will include the development of long- and short-form video content, live events and social media content. In addition, UMG artists, both on the recorded and publishing side, will be able to participate in opportunities in film, television and digital media.
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june 2018 by motiveunknown
Universal Music UK posted £10.6m operating profit last year, spent £15.7m on acquisitions
After distribution costs and administrative expenses, the firm’s annual operating profit hit £10.6m in 2017, a huge leap (+999%) on the £964,000 operating profit posted in the prior year. Thanks to a £40.7m deficit due to ‘interest payable and similar charges’ (as you can see below), its pre-tax loss last year was £20.5m. Universal said its growth in revenues was “driven by increased demand for streaming services, as well as the timing of new releases”.
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june 2018 by motiveunknown
Universal Music Parent Company Supervisory Board OKs Plans to Examine Possible IPO, Label's Profits Up 4.5% in Q1
Vivendi's supervisory board approved a proposal from management board on Thursday (May 17) that to move forward with a necessary steps to examine a a potential change in the Universal Music Group's shareholding structure. This could include an IPO, partial IPO or sale of a stake to a third party.  The news coincided with the company's quarterly earnings report, which UMG revenues at €1.222 billion ($1.442 billion at current exchange rate) for January, February and March 2018 -- a 4.5 percent increase at constant currency since that same period last year.
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may 2018 by motiveunknown
Universal Music Group heading closer to IPO
While any IPO process could be long and complicated, a highly profitable UMG could ultimately have a valuation that’s higher than Vivendi’s. The valuation of Spotify shows the potential appetite for investors in the music industry as it returns to growth. The other big news was that UMG has no plans to follow the other majors in selling its Spotify stake. De Puyfontaine said UMG had been a “fantastic partner of Spotify from the beginning”. “We’ve taken the decision to remain a Spotify shareholder because we think there is potential in the future,” he added. “It is very important to walk the talk. We have no intention other than to remain a Spotify shareholder.”
dd  umg 
may 2018 by motiveunknown
Could Spotify Buy Universal?
All of this talk might sound outlandish but it was not so long ago that an internet company (AOL) co-owned Warner Music and a drinks company (Seagram) owned Universal Music, before selling it to a water utilities company (Vivendi), and, long before that, EMI was owned by a light bulb company (Thorn Electrical Industries). We have got used to this current period of corporate stability for the major record labels, but this situation is a reflection of the recorded music business being in such a poor state that there was little M&A interest. Nonetheless it is all changing, potentially heralding a return to the past. Everything has happened before and will happen again.
dd  spotify  umg 
may 2018 by motiveunknown
Here's exactly how many shares the major labels and Merlin bought in Spotify - and what those stakes are worth now
Here’s perhaps the most noteworthy thing about all of this: in its recent public announcement regarding its Spotify proceeds, Sony said: “Sony Music and The Orchard are committed to sharing with their artists and distributed labels any net gain they may realize from a sale of Sony Music’s equity stake in Spotify.” Do you spot it? “… any net gain”. In other words, Sony is publicly committing to passing a slice of profits to artists from Spotify stock which it actually paid for with its own money. An interesting addition to the ‘greedy majors’ narrative, no?
dd  spotify  sonymusic  warner  umg 
may 2018 by motiveunknown
Universal Music Could Be More Valuable Than Spotify
While Spotify lost money last year, Universal Music made an operating margin of 13.4%. For now, investors don’t seem to care about this imbalance, but if both companies are public the structural pressures on Spotify could become more apparent. Brokers have been competing to publish bullish valuations of Universal Music. JPMorgan may be in the lead with an estimate of $40 billion—more than Vivendi’s entire market value including debt, even though the company also owns a French cable TV channel and a 24% stake in Italy’s largest telecom company.
dd  umg 
may 2018 by motiveunknown
Vivendi to Discuss Universal Music Group IPO Ideas at May 17 Board Meeting
Vivendi has announced that its management board will present its initial findings on how a Universal Music Group IPO might play out. In a press release on Tuesday, the French multinational media conglomerate said that its board will discuss the "different hypotheses" on May 17.
dd  umg 
may 2018 by motiveunknown
Universal Music Group Taps Spotify's Dave Rocco for EVP, Creative Role
Dave Rocco, most recently Spotify's global head of artist and label marketing, has moved over to Universal Music Group in the newly created position of executive vice president, creative. The industry veteran will now develop digital campaigns for UMG artists and work with the company's labels to spearhead global strategies with its various outside partners. Rocco will be based at UMG's global headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif. and report directly to chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge
dd  umg  spotify 
april 2018 by motiveunknown
Official: Vivendi is exploring potential IPO of Universal Music Group
Vivendi is officially underway with preparatory work that may see it ‘spin out’ Universal Music Group as its own entity on the stock market. The news, confirmed today by Vivendi CEO Arnaud De Puyfontaine, comes just three days after MBW analysis suggested that current market conditions may prompt the French UMG owner to seriously explore the option. Speaking to shareholders in Paris today, according to the FT, De Puyfontaine said:  “We have started work that will allow us to present the benefits of a potential listing of UMG to the supervisory board.”
dd  umg 
april 2018 by motiveunknown
Could Spotify Be Next on Amazon's Wish List?
"Amazon makes acquisitions to close gaps," Ladd said. "Acquiring Spotify absolutely is possible, but I believe Amazon has bigger ambitions." Spotify went public on the NYSE through a direct listing on April 3, and its price has remained relatively stable, with a current market cap of about $27.7 billion. Ladd suggested that a better acquisition target for the e-commerce giant would be Universal Music Group, one of the largest music groups in the world. Universal is a private company, but Goldman Sachs recently estimated its value at around $23.5 billion. "When Amazon went into grocery, it didn't go buy Sprouts," Ladd said. "Amazon thinks bigger than that ... this [would give] Amazon a leadership position in all things music." Acquiring Universal would also give Amazon opportunities to offer exclusive content, similar to what its Prime Video service provides.
dd  spotify  amazon  umg 
april 2018 by motiveunknown
If Universal's going to go public, Vivendi should strike while the iron's hot
Universal, then, has a sexy story to tell the markets – one paradoxically dependent on, and yet in direct conflict with, Spotify’s own: ‘We own the largest recorded music catalogue in the world, alongside a thriving music publishing operation – and we’re growing our revenues at the same rate as Spotify. Yet, should Apple and Amazon end up eclipsing Spotify, we face no risk; we win either way, and therefore our shareholders will too.’
dd  umg 
april 2018 by motiveunknown
Why Labels Are Looking to Africa to Find the Next Global Pop Star
UMG's acquisition is the latest of a number of deals this year that indicate the music industry is beginning to recognize Africa's potential as a music mecca and profit center, with more than half of the continent under the age of 30. In January, global investment firm TPG Growth acquired a majority stake in TRACE, a leading Afro-urban music and entertainment brand in sub-Saharan Africa that owns and operates 30 digital and mobile services and seven FM radio stations. In mid-February, Kenya's Safaricom launched the subscription streaming service Songa, which reportedly houses a catalog of over 2 million tracks by local and international acts, and on Feb. 24, Play Africa Music, a Ghana-based online store that exclusively sells and streams African music, went live.
dd  umg 
march 2018 by motiveunknown
Universal shakes up international structure as Adam Granite adds China, India and Africa to responsibilities
Universal Music Group has made significant changes to its international structure, with recent recruit Adam Granite becoming responsible for Greater China, India and other territories. MBW understands that Adrian Cheesley, SVP of Universal Music Group International, will be leaving the company as a result. According to an internal memo sent by UMG CEO & Chairman Sir Lucian Grainge earlier today, the moves are designed to “build on our successful track record and continue to provide our artists and labels with the greatest possible resources and global reach”.
dd  umg 
march 2018 by motiveunknown
Universal: We WILL share Spotify money with artists when we sell our stock in streaming platform
Two years ago, Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment publicly announced their commitment to hand a chunk of their respective Spotify equity proceeds to artists. But there has been no word from Universal on the matter – until now. A Universal spokesperson confirmed the news to MBW today with a simple statement: “Consistent with UMG’s approach to artist compensation, artists would share in the proceeds of a [Spotify] equity sale.”
dd  umg  spotify 
march 2018 by motiveunknown
Universal Music prepares to release science-led sleep album
The music comes from Tom Middleton, who besides being a producer and DJ, is also billed as a psychoacoustic researcher and sleep-science coach. The ‘Sleep Better’ album will be released as a CD, download and on streaming services, as well as through the ‘Sleep Better’ Android and iOS app. The interesting thing here, of course, is the streaming angle. Sleep playlists are big on streaming services: Spotify’s main one (called simply ‘Sleep’) has 2.3 million followers, while another (‘Sleep Tight’) has more than 518,000. It reminds us of a comment made by UMG’s then-CTO Ty Roberts in February 2017, suggesting that ‘sleep music’ was “around two per cent of all our streaming plays” as an industry.
dd  umg 
march 2018 by motiveunknown
Universal buys majority stake in Kenyan label AI Records
Universal Music Group has acquired a 70% stake in leading Kenyan label, AI Records, as the Vivendi-owned major ramps up its presence in Africa. The acquisition was made by Universal’s Dutch subsidiary (Universal International Music BV) for an undisclosed fee, according to local reports. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, AI Records owns one of the largest catalogues of East African music in the world. Its roster includes recordings by local stars such as Orchestra Super Mazembe and Afro 70.
dd  umg 
march 2018 by motiveunknown

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