The top 3 music companies jointly generated over $20 billion last year (that’s over $2 million per hour)
The MBW review is where we point our microscope at some of the biggest recent happenings in the music business. This time, backed by the latest fiscal results from Warner Music Group, we pull out our calculator for a big slice of the math. The MBW exam is supported by Instrumental.
Want to know how big the last year was for the top three music companies? Gargantuan.
Last summer, MBW predicted that Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group (including Sony’s music interests in Japan) and Warner Music Group would together generate more $20 billion annual revenue in 2021.
We can now confirm, via a parcel of calculations, that it was indeed the case. ($20 billion in a year, stat fans, is equivalent to turning around $2.3 million Every hour.)
But here’s the problem: the majors have even surpassed the $20 billion mark. without Results from Universal Music Group‘s fourth quarter 2021 calendar, due to be revealed next month.
Here’s how the “Big Three” did it:
- Warner Music Group (which today announced its calendar figures for the fourth quarter) generated US$5.58 billion across its global music publishing and recorded music divisions during calendar 2021, as calculated by MBW;
- Sony Corp. (which announced its fourth quarter calendar figures last week) generated US$7.49 billion across its global music publishing and recorded music divisions during calendar 2021, according to MBW calculations
- Universal Music Group generated US$7.21 billion in its global music publishing and recorded music divisions first nine months 2021 – excluding Q4 – according to MBW calculations;
- All of this combined comes to a sweet, sweet $20.28 billion.
Based on its performance in the first quarters of 2021 (and adjacent Sony and Warner performance in the last quarter of 2021), MBW expects Universal Music Group to release between $2.5 billion and $3 billion total revenue for the fourth calendar quarter next week.
At the upper end of this range, this would mean that the top three music companies (in the music publishing and recorded music businesses) jointly generated more than 23 billion US dollars in 2021, i.e. approximately $2.6 million Every hour.
Below, MBW digs deeper into the performance of each major music company with the data we have so far…
Warner Music Group
Warner Music Group has had a wild 2021.
We know this because the major today (February 8) released its fiscal fourth quarter calendar (fiscal Q1) results, with total revenue up. 20.9% year over year at $1.614 billion in the neighborhood.
With the latest figures from Warner in our hands, MBW further parsed the figures to calculate what WMG returned in calendar year 2021:
- According to MBW calculations, Warner Music Group generated $5.58 billion in total revenue last year, across all of its music publishing and recorded music businesses. This number was on the rise 20.7% year after year – or by $955 million – at constant exchange rates;
- WMG recorded music the division saw a 20.6% Year-over-year jump in constant currency revenue in calendar year 2021 (to $4.77 billion), while its music publishing division increased its revenue 20.9% year over year at $815 million;
- WMG broadcast of recorded music revenues jumped 24.3% From one year to another $3.12 billion in the 2021 calendar.
As MBW revealed last week, Sony’s music divisions (Sony Music Group and its Japan-based music companies) jointly generated $7.49 billion in 2021 in music publishing and recorded music.
- This $7.49 billion the figure (at constant exchange rate at USD level) increased 23.9% year after year, or by a beautiful $1.44 billion versus the equivalent figure for 2020;
- sony global recorded music the operation achieved a turnover of $5.77 billion in the 2021 calendar, according to MBW calculations – which represented a jump of $1.16 billionWhere 25.2%YoY.
- In this number, Sony broadcast of recorded music revenue increased by 33.0% YoY – or by $978 million – to hit $3.94 billion;
- sony global music publishing operation also had a record year: in calendar year 2021, it generated $1.72 billionat the top 19.7%or by $284 millionon the equivalent figure for 2020.
Universal Music Group
As mentioned, we don’t yet know what Universal Music Group’s revenue looked like in the last quarter of last year (UMG will reveal this information on March 3.)
What we To do already know is that UMG posted a stellar nine-month opening of 2021, across the first three fiscal quarters of the year:
- In the first nine months of 2021, according to MBW calculations, Universal Music Group generated $7.21 billion in total revenue.
- This number increased by $1.30 billion – Where 21.9% – on the $5.91 billion the total revenue that Universal Music Group recorded during the equivalent nine-month period of 2020;
- UMG recorded music revenue (including merchandise) over the nine-month period increased 23.2% Year (until $6.10 billion), while music publishing revenue grew 14.3% Year (until $1.11 billion).
If Universal can repeat its business performance in Q3 2021 to Q4 2021, it will end the year with $9.77 billion in total annual revenue.
However, Sony and Warner significantly outperformed their third calendar quarter performance in the fourth quarter of 2021 (Sony’s combined recorded music and publishing revenue, for example, increased 13.9% quarter on quarter).
If Universal follows this pattern – and everything suggests it will – it’s possible that 2021 was the very first $10 billion year of revenue in the history of Universal Music Group.
A brief note on currency calculations in this analysis: (i) Warner Music Group’s 2021 revenues are presented in their root currency, the US dollar. Constant currency figures for 2020, as published in WMG Investor Documents, were used for year-over-year comparisons; (ii) Sony’s earnings are calculated in constant USD currency, using prevailing quarterly Yen-USD rates as published in Sony’s investor materials; (iii) Universal’s revenues are calculated in constant currency USD, using prevailing quarterly EUR-USD rates as published in Vivendi’s investor materials (including Q3 2021).
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