advertisement
advertisement
advertisement

How $33 billion Universal Music Group is redefining the modern music label

How $33 billion Universal Music Group is redefining the modern music label
[Photos: Jason Richardson/Alamy Stock Photo (Swift); Prince Williams/Wireimage/Getty Images (Drake); Cheshire Snapper/Alamy Stock Photo (Mendez); Marta Perez/EFE/Alamy Live News (Mr Eazi); Matt Crossick/PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo (Malone); Lev Radin/Alamy Stock Photo (The Weeknd); NBC/Getty Images (Musgraves); Kevin Winters/Getty Images for iHeartRadio (Grande)]





There’s a good chance that your favorite bop from 2018 came from a Universal Music Group artist: Drake’s Scorpion was the top album of the year on Apple Music, Ariana Grande was Spotify’s most-streamed female artist, and Taylor Swift’s Reputation ranked No. 1 on Billboard‘s year-end album chart. Amid the music industry’s digital transformation, Universal is redefining what a modern label should look like. Its recent landmark deal with Taylor Swift promises profits to artists should Universal sell its reported 4% stake in Spotify, and the company has set up outposts in countries such as Nigeria and China, signing and introducing consumers to new artists like Vanessa Mdee, Kris Wu, and the K-pop girl-group sensation BlackPink, which will be featured at Coachella this year. Universal also inked a new first-look deal with Lions­gate to produce TV content built around the artists on Universal’s roster. “I don’t see us competing with the platforms, and they don’t see us competing with them, partly because we are completely, strategically, emotionally, financially joined at the hip,” says Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, which recently saw a 14% year-over-year growth in Q3 revenue and was valued at more than $33 billion.

advertisement
advertisement