| 19 Jun 2024
Universal Music Group reports strong Q1 earnings boosted by Taylor Swift's success

MUMBAI: Universal Music Group (UMG) delivered impressive first-quarter earnings that surpassed expectations, driven by the phenomenal success of superstar Taylor Swift.

UMG, recognized as the world's largest music label, reported adjusted core earnings (Ebitda) of 591 million euros (632.6 million dollor), marking a 15.9 percent increase compared to the previous year. This figure exceeded the 567 million euros anticipated by analysts, according to a Visible Alpha consensus shared by the company.

Taylor Swift's extraordinary achievements significantly contributed to UMG's stellar performance, with royalties from streaming, album sales, and concert tickets bolstering earnings. Swift's Eras Tour, spanning 152 shows across five continents, raked in over 1 billion dollor in ticket sales, solidifying its status as the highest-grossing concert tour globally.

Additionally, her latest album, released in April, continues to dominate the charts.Among other top sellers in the quarter mentioned by UMG were Noah Kahan, Morgan Wallen, Ariana Grande, and Olivia Rodrigo.

Earlier on the same day, UMG and TikTok announced a new licensing agreement, signaling the restoration of the label's songs and artists to the social media platform. While management did not disclose specific compensation figures, they emphasized that the deal addresses concerns regarding artists' pay and AI-related issues, such as misappropriation of artists' identities.

Prior to the agreement, UMG derived approximately 1 percent of its global revenue from its collaboration with the short-video app. Chief Digital Officer Michael Nash highlighted additional economic benefits beyond revenue, including e-commerce, ad credits, and data marketing programs, underscoring the multifaceted nature of the platform relationship with TikTok.Sales for the quarter surged by 7.9 percent in constant currency terms, reaching 2.59 billion euros, fueled by growth across all of UMG's business segments.