Def Leppard break digital deadlock as entire catalogue goes online

Def Leppard, one of the last multi-platinum digital holdouts, have licensed their entire catalogue to download and streaming services. It is available today (19 January) on all the major streaming and download platforms. The band, whose global album sales top 100m, were conspicuous by their absence from iTunes, Spotify and more. This was partly down […]

Vivendi expects 10% revenue growth for UMG in 2017

Media group Vivendi isn’t due to publish its next quarterly financials until mid-February, but the company issued a statement on “preliminary positive trends of 2017” yesterday including a couple of Universal Music stats. “Universal Music Group (UMG) confirmed its excellent momentum during the fourth quarter of 2017, which should lead, as expected, to revenue growth […]

UMG boss hails ‘best financial performance in 15 years’

Universal Music Group enjoyed a stonking 2017 according to chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge’s year-end memo to staff. “The dramatic worldwide increase in streaming has been the single most important catalyst in returning UMG – and the music industry at large – to growth,” wrote Grainge. The post UMG boss hails ‘best financial performance in […]

India: The sleeping giant of digital music is ready to wake up

At the end of September this year Music Ally was invited to attend the inaugural All About Music conference in Mumbai, India. We’ve since been speaking to some of its main contributors, and taking a look at the key themes that emerged on how India is evolving as a music market. All About Music is […]

Facebook signs Universal Music licensing deal for music, video and more

Music labels and publishers have spent much of 2017 wondering what Facebook’s plans were for licensing music. Today the social network announced its first major-label licensing deal, with Universal Music Group. The companies are describing this as a “global, multi-year agreement” that will license Universal’s recorded-music and publishing catalogues for “video and other social experiences […]

YouTube and Universal Music sign new multi-year licensing deal

Despite the continuing rows over the ‘value gap’ and safe harbour, YouTube has struck its second new licensing deal of 2017 with a major label: Universal Music Group. The new global, multi-year agreement follows a similar deal with Warner Music Group in May, although both parties are keeping the details private beyond official statements from […]

UMG’s Jonathan Dworkin: ‘Despacito is more than just a hit’ (#SlushMusic)

As SVP of digital strategy and business development at Universal Music Group, Jonathan Dworkin is playing a significant role in how the biggest major label wants to steer the digital music world in the years to come. His speech at the Slush Music conference in Helsinki this morning focused on ‘the globalisation of the music […]

Telegram blocks channel after music-piracy complaint

Sorry, at the time of writing Taylor Swift hasn’t put her new album ‘Reputation’ on streaming services as a post-Thanksgiving gift to fans. Today’s Taylor story focuses on another aspect to the album’s rollout: cracking down on piracy. Messaging app Telegram has blocked one of the channels (i.e. messaging groups) on its service after a […]

UMG’s Urban Legends turns music journalism into marketing

As we go into 2018, there are very real concerns about sustainable business models for music journalism, with magazines shutting or slimming down and websites scratching about for revenues. But there are some other models for music journalists emerging: from the original-content divisions of streaming services to commissions from labels. The post UMG’s Urban Legends […]

Annenberg Inclusion Initiative adds music to its partners

The USC Annenberg university in California is launching a new thing: the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, with music-industry partners including Universal Music backing its efforts around diversity. “Our new name reflects our continued and unwavering commitment to championing inclusion in all forms – including but not limited to gender, race/ethnicity, LGBT, disability and now mental health […]

Big Shaq gets an augmented-reality Facebook Camera effect

In our recent report on augmented reality technology, we suggested that rather than launching standalone AR apps for artists, labels would do better exploring some of the AR features in the big social apps. Now Island Records has offered a new example with the biggest social app of all: Facebook. The label has launched a […]

Shania Twain goes mobile gaming with Home Street partnership

Mobile gaming is a huge and growing industry, with spending up 18% to $40.6bn in 2016 according to research firm SuperData – a figure that matched global box-office revenues for films that year. Mobile games based on musicians, however, are… less lucrative. Publisher Glu Mobile had flops with its games based on Katy Perry, Nicki […]

Universal Music to work on AR / VR experiences with Within

We’ve been writing about virtual reality startup Within since it was founded under the name of Vrse by Chris Milk, the filmmaker whose previous projects included the famous ‘Wilderness Downtown’ interactive video for Arcade Fire. Now Within has signed a high-profile music partnership with Universal Music Group, to make both virtual AND augmented reality experiences […]

Vivendi Content boss: “My belief is that YouTube’s DNA is free”

Dominique Delport is the chairman of Vivendi Content and MD of Havas Group, so he’s an interesting figure in terms of connecting the dots between Universal Music Group’s parent company and its advertising-giant arm. He gave a keynote at yesterday’s MIPCOM TV industry conference in Cannes and had plenty to say. Among the points he […]

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