HITS Daily Double


Universal Music Group’s revenue hit €11.11b ($12b) in 2023, an 11.1% spike in constant currency. Once again, Recorded Music’s subscription revenue, up 12.8% in constant currency, was the driver.

Subscription revenue was €4.27b for the year, while all streaming revenue saw a 10.4% increase to €5.7b. Physical revenue was up 19.4% to €1.38b. Licensing came in at €1.17b, a 13.6% rise.

“2023 was another exceptional year for UMG, creatively, financially and strategically,” said UMG Chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge. “From our artists and songwriters’ record-breaking performance to our work advancing the industry through innovative business models to our leadership fostering responsible AI to driving our long-term strategy through partnership and thoughtful investment, UMG is uniquely positioned to seize the next wave of growth opportunities on behalf of its artists, employees and shareholders."

Music Publishing revenue was €1.96b, up 12.3%, primarily due to the continued growth in subscription and streaming revenue and improvements in performance, sync and mechanical revenue.

In 2023 UMG had nine of the top 10 artists on the IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year chart, six of the top 10 global artists on Spotify and 13 of the top 20 most-streamed songs globally on Apple Music.

Adjusted EBITDA of €2.37b was up 14.6% in constant currency. Adjusted EBITDA margin expanded 0.7% to 21.3%, including headwinds from one-time items.

Revenue in the fourth quarter was up 15.6% in constant currency to €3.21b. Recorded Music subscription revenue grew 15% to €1.14b. Adjusted EBITDA of €677m was up 15.1%. Top sellers in the 10/1-12/31 period included Taylor Swift, the Rolling Stones, Drake, Jung Kook and Stray Kids.

In prepared remarks delivered to stock analysts, Grainge focused on the accomplishments of 2023, priorities for 2024 and the current global reorganization.

“We’re redesigning, to put it simply, the blueprint of the label of the future,” Grainge said. When all the dust has settled, labels will be able to act with “greater flexibility and speed.”

UMG EVP, CFO and President of Operations Boyd Muir said the reorganization will save the company €250m by the end of 2026, with €75m realized this year and another €50m in 2025. The company will incur €125m in restructuring costs this year, with about €100m occurring in Q1.

Among the new growth areas, Grainge mentioned the strengthening of the artist-fan relationship, noting how UMG’s new deal with Complex will “deepen opportunities for the superfan.”

Grainge also said UMG’s recent deals in China, South Asia and Africa will drive accelerated growth in untapped markets.