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From Universal’s unfunded balance program to BMG’s $784 million in earnings, it’s MBW’s weekly round-up

Welcome to Music Business Worldwide’s weekly roundup – in which we’re making sure you catch the five biggest stories to make our headlines over the last seven days. MBW’s synopsis is powered by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximize their income and reduce touring costs.

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This week, Universal Music Group launched what it calls a “worldwide goodwill program for certain well-known recording artists and songwriters.”

The program provides that UMG will ignore non-refundable credits on advances for eligible artists and songwriters.

The initiative was unveiled in UMG’s Environment Social Governance (ESG) report included in their 2021 annual report, released this week.

Also this week, MBW reported on a story published by Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN), which ran an exposé on Swedish indie label Firefly Entertainment.

Accordingly DNFirefly Entertainment runs a roaring trade in what some would call “fake artists” on Spotify.

Elsewhere, newly released financial figures from BMG’s parent company, Bertelsmann, show that the music company generated annual sales of 663 million euros (about $784 million) last year.

That was 10.1% more than the comparative value from BMG from 2020.

Also this week, Pophouse Entertainment acquired the Swedish House Mafia’s master recordings and publisher’s catalogs (including their writers’ shares), while music financing platform beatBread launched a new Artists Advocacy Council, of which Mike Caren is a member

Here’s what happened in the last seven days…


1) CONFIRMED: UNIVERSAL DOES NOT ACCEPT INCOMING CREDITS FOR HERITAGE ARTISTS

In February, MBW told you that Universal Music Group plans to implement a policy that would require non-refundable credits for eligible catalog songwriters and artists not to be honored on their books.

We were told at the time by senior sources in the music industry that this policy would be publicly endorsed by UMG in the coming months.

Yesterday (March 31) UMG did just that…


2) DO YOU REMEMBER SPOTIFY’S FAKE ARTISTS? THEY ARE STILL STRONG – AND STILL ATTRACT SCANDALS.

Firefly Entertainment from Sweden must be one of the most successful young independent record companies in the world.

Headquartered in Karlstad, Sweden, the label generates over SEK 65 million – or around $7 million at annual exchange rates – per year, according to its latest annual results released in 2020.

That’s 10 times what Firefly generated three years earlier.

Those stats come from Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN), which just ran an exposé on how Firefly makes at least some of that money. It’s a story that will be very familiar to longtime MBW readers…


3) BMG’S ANNUAL REVENUES GROW 10.1% TO €784 MILLION IN 2021 USD

BMG had a turnover of more than three-quarters of a billion dollars in 2021.

According to newly published financial figures from BMG parent company Bertelsmann, the music company generated annual sales of 663 million euros last year. That was 10.1% more than the comparative value from BMG from 2020.

BMG’s key earnings metric, operating EBITDA, rose 5.4% year-on-year to €144 million ($170 million) in 2021.

(MBW used the IRS average annual exchange rates for 2021 for the EUR-USD calculations above).


4) SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA SELLS MASTER RECORDINGS AND RELEASES CATALOGS TO POPHOUSE

In February we informed you that Pophouse, the Swedish entertainment company headed by former Universal Music Sweden boss Per Sundin, is planning to invest in music rights.

This week, the company announced its entry into the rights acquisition by fully acquiring the master recordings and publishing catalogs of electronic music stars Swedish House Mafia (including their authors’ shares).

The agreement also includes, for an undisclosed sum, the full acquisition of the masters and publication of Axwell^Ingrosso…


5) AFTER RAISING $34 MILLION, MUSIC PROMOTION PLATFORM BEATBREAD NAMES ADVOCACY COUNCIL MIKE CAREN AND MORE

The music funding platform beatBread has launched a new Artists Advocacy Council.

Founding members include Mike Caren (Artist Partner Group) and Dave Dederer (label owner and founding member of The Presidents of the United States of America).

The Advocacy Council launch follows beatBread’s $34 million seed round in February, led by fintech-focused venture capital firm Deciens Capital…


MBW’s Weekly Round-Up is powered by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximize their income and reduce touring costs.music business worldwide

https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/from-umgs-unrecouped-balance-program-to-bmgs-784m-revenues-its-mbws-weekly-round-up/ From Universal’s unfunded balance program to BMG’s $784 million in earnings, it’s MBW’s weekly round-up

Fry Electronics Team

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