Universal Music Group’s parent company Vivendi announced plans to spin-off the world’s largest music major company as a standalone entity on the stock market. It is no incident that the French media and telecommunication conglomerate Vivendi considers such a strategy. Spotify’s public listing early in April this year was a financial success and it seems that investors currently assess music as a good investment. The overall economic climate is positive and Universal Music Group (UMG) performed very well in the past few years – mainly because of significantly increasing revenues from music streaming. In the last annual report for the financial year 2017, UMG posted a total revenue of € 5.67bn (+ 25 percent compared to 2012) and an EBITA of € 761m (+ 45 percent compared to 2012). Music streaming is the main driver of revenue and profit growth. Thus, revenue from streaming increased by almost 33 percent from 2016 to 2017 to EUR 1.97bn contributing more than a third to UMG’s total revenue in 2017.
The further analysis highlights how UMG had to reinvent itself as a comprehensive music service company with a focus on music streaming and providing a wide range of services far beyond the traditional recorded music business.