Universal Music Group revenues hit $2.46bn in Q1 2022

Universal Music Group has published its financial results for Q1 2022.

Across all of its divisions (including recorded music, publishing and more) the world’s biggest music rightsholder posted revenues in the three months to end of March of €2.199 billion ($2.46bn).

That was up by 16.5% YoY at constant currency, driven by growth across all revenue segments.

Streaming was UMG’s biggest revenue driver in Q1 2022, with the company’s recorded music streaming revenues growing 14.6% YoY at constant currency to €1.209 billion ($1.35bn).

Overall recorded music revenues (including streaming plus physical etc.) for Q1 2022 were €1.721 billion ($1.93bn), up 11.3% at constant currency (see below).

Elsewhere, Universal’s physical recorded music revenues grew by 8.7% YoY at constant currency to €237 million ($265.84m), due to what UMG says were “improvements in both CD and vinyl sales, led by King & Prince, Fujii Kaze, Ado, Stromae and Taylor Swift”.

Global top recorded music sellers for the quarter included releases from Disney’s ‘Encanto’ Soundtrack, King & Prince, The Weeknd, Fujii Kaze and Ado.

In Q1, Universal’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, and depreciation) grew 14.1% YoY at constant currency, to €454 million ($509.25m).

UMG’s overall adjusted EBITDA in Q1 – across all of its divisions – was €455 million ($510.37m), up 14% YoY at constant currency.

Universal’s Music Publishing division, Universal Music Publishing Group, generated revenues of €375 million ($420.63m) in Q1 2022, up 32.5% YoY at constant currency.

UMG notes that it adjusted its accounting policy in relation to certain revenues that are collected through societies, primarily affecting Music Publishing digital, performance, and mechanical revenue.

UMG said of this accounting policy adjustment: “In prior years, these revenues were recognised when the relevant collection society notified UMG of the usage by the end customer and collectability was assured.

“Recognition of that revenue is now based on an accrual for the best available estimate of when the usage occurs and the amount of consideration which is probable to be collected. This has affected the timing of the recognition of certain revenues across financial reporting quarters, with a benefit for the first quarter of 2022, compared to the prior year.”

UMPG’s digital revenues grew 44.7% YoY at constant currency to €191 million ($214.24m), reflecting the continued streaming growth, as well as the previously mentioned change in accounting.

Synchronisation revenue grew 29.2% YoY at constant currency to €62 million ($69.54m), which UMPG reports came as a result of increased income from advertising and film.

UMG says that its Music Publishing revenue also “benefited from underlying organic growth trends and initial contributions from catalogue acquisitions made in prior years”.

Elsewhere, UMG’s Merchandising and Other revenue grew to €107 million ($120m), up 69.8% YoY at constant currency.

UMG pins this increase on its rebounded touring-related merchandising revenue, following the slow-down in live touring during the pandemic.

“As important as the positive performance of the business this quarter is its breadth and strength.”

Sir Lucian Grainge

Sir Lucian Grainge, UMG’s Chairman and CEO, said: As important as the positive performance of the business this quarter is its breadth and strength.

“Our strategic portfolio approach – creatively, geographically, technologically, and across a broad range of artists, partners, formats, businesses and revenue streams – not only deliver results now but, over the long run, we believe will produce an even better and more stable performance while delivering incredible value to our artists and shareholders.”

“We remain enthusiastic about the diversified revenue growth that our strategy is producing.”

Boyd Muir, UMG

Boyd Muir, EVP, CFO and President of Operations for UMG, said: “With this quarter’s results, we continue to deliver on our commitment of long-term growth throughout the company’s major business units and across its multiple and growing revenue streams, including ad- supported streaming, subscription, physical, licensing, music publishing, and merchandising, among others.

“We remain enthusiastic about the diversified revenue growth that our strategy is producing.”

All EUR-USD conversions in this report for Q1 2022 have been made as the average prevailing rate as identified by the European Central Bank.Music Business Worldwide

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