For quite some time, Universal Music Group has been able to weather the storm pounding the rest of the music business. We never quite figured it out, be we always assumed that it had something to do with the fact that it as the world’s biggest music company, it had the best odds of coming up with hit acts. Though that never seemed quite right to us, either — shouldn’t UMG’s size make it more exposed to the industry’s woes?
In any event, those days are over: UMG parent Vivendi just reported Q2 results, and they’re as bad as the rest of the business: Revenues were down 5.3% y/y to $1.01 billion euros. And while that translates to a 3% increase after accounting for currency fluctuations, that’s still nothing to brag about: Last year Universal acquired BMG Music Publishing, which should have bumped up this quarter’s results significantly.
The not-that-bad news: Digital revenues were up 33% (again, after accounting for currency fluctuations). But iTunes, ringtones and the like aren’t going to keep the industry propped up – at least not right now.