Universal Music Group generated over $10 billion in revenue last year. It’s now twice the size it was a decade ago.

In the MBW Review, we turn our microscope to some of the biggest events in the music business in recent times. This time we drill into it Universal music groupthe newly announced fourth quarter and full year 2021 results. The MBW Review is powered by Instrumental.

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In 2021, Universal Music Group recorded annual combined sales of more than $10 billion for the first time in history.

This is according to calculations by MBW, which are based on the calculations of the music rights giant newly released Q4 and FY financial results for the last year.

Universal trading in Amsterdam at Euronextannounced today (3 March) its results in euro terms.

These results show that UMG’s total worldwide earnings for the year – across releases, records and merchandise – were weighed in at €8.50 billion ($10.03 billion).

That number had increased 17.0% year-on-year at constant exchange rates.

Yearbook of the UMG recorded music Sales hit in 2021 €6.82 billion ($8.06 billion)currency adjusted, up 16.9% year-on-year.

If you compare UMG’s merch sales (categorized separately in Universal, at €363 million for the year) to recorded music revenue is the figure for 2021 €7.19 billion ($8.48 billion).

(UMG’s competitors, Warner Music Group and Sonyboth count merch sales under recorded income in their tax results, so it’s worth merging these two numbers together).

And regarding recorded music streaming Revenue generated by Universal Music Group 4.48 billion euros ($5.29 billion) 2021 onwards 19.8% YoY at constant currency.

Meanwhile, Universal’s publishing division — Universal Music Publishing Group — posted annual sales of 1.34 billion euros in 2021, which marked another milestone: the first time in history that the UMPG, led by Jody Gerson, has exceeded the $1.5 billion barrier in annual sales.



There’s another very important number in UMG’s results that the music industry keeps a close eye on: its EBITDA profitability.

Universal ended 2021 with an EBITDA of 1.69 billion eurosand Adjusted EBITDA (which excludes one-time costs related to UMG’s listing in Amsterdam and stock-based compensation expense) of 1.79 billion euros.

Some time ago, asked MBW when Universal could potentially end 2021 with annual EBITDA in excess of $2 billion.

By our calculations, it did just that on an adjusted basis: Universal’s annual EBITDA (€1.69 billion) was worth it $1.99 billionbut it is customized EBITDA (€1.79 billion) hit $2.11 billion.

The company’s adjusted EBITDA margin for the year was 21.0%.



A reminder of UMG metrics in 2021, then:

  • annual sales above $10 billion;
  • Annual streaming revenue from recorded music above $5 billion;
  • Annual publishing earnings above $1.5 billion;
  • An Annual Adjusted EBITDA above $2 billion.

And look at this: Total revenue of Universal Music Group on a euro basis in 2021 (€8.50 billion) were more than twice as big of the annual turnover of UMG a decade earlierin 2011 (€4.20 billion).

2011 was just the year Sir Lucian Grainge was appointed global CEO and chairman of Universal Music Group. (The following year, under Grainge’s leadership, Universal completed the acquisition of the “fourth major record company,” EMI Music. on a $1.9 billion deal.)

So all in all, 2021 wasn’t a bad 10th anniversary in the Universal hotseat for Grainge, who said of UMG’s latest figures: “2021 was another historic year for UMG. We’ve helped our artists achieve extraordinary successes – including 8 of the IFPI‘s Top 10 Global Artists of the Year.

“In addition to a strong performance in streaming, we have opened up new opportunities for our artists – from merchandising to brand management, sponsorships, e-commerce to film and television. And we’ve expanded our partner portfolio into emerging growth areas like health and fitness, Web3 and social video.

“2021 was another historic year for UMG. We’ve helped our artists achieve extraordinary achievements – including 8 of the IFPI’s 10 World’s Best Artists of the Year.”

Sir Lucian Grainge, Universal Music Group

“Our success in all of these efforts was reflected in our financial performance – revenues increased 17% on a constant currency basis, the Adjusted EBITDA margin increased and free cash flow improved significantly.

“Looking forward, we see the industry continuing to grow and – with our unique experience, deep understanding of the business and extensive artist relationships and global creative networks – we expect to continue to strengthen our position as an industry leader as we continue to break new ones.” artists and build on our world-class catalogue.”



A quick note on currency translation: MBW has calculated UMG’s annual sales in USD for 2021 by converting the company’s published quarterly results based on European Central Bank results reference exchange rate for EUR-USD in each quarter. For EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA, our USD numbers were calculated using the IRS annual average EUR-USD exchange rate.


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The MBW Review is supported by Instrumental, one of the music industry’s leading growth teams for independent artists. Instrumental uses data science to identify the fastest growing independent artists on the planet, then provides them with funding, premium distribution and marketing support to take them to the next level without infringing on their rights.music business worldwide

https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/universal-music-group-crashed-past-10-billion-in-revenue-last-year-its-now-double-the-size-it-was-a-decade-ago/ Universal Music Group generated over $10 billion in revenue last year. It’s now twice the size it was a decade ago.

Fry Electronics Team

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