Universal Music Group has reported revenue growth of 4.4% in 2016, up to €5.26 billion.
The growth was driven by a whopping 57.9% increase in its streaming revenues, which more than offset the decline in both downloads and physical sales, resulting in an overall 2.9% rise in recorded music revenues. Best sellers for the year included new releases from Drake, Rihanna, Ariana Grande and The Rolling Stones, as well as carryover sales from Justin Bieber.
Meanwhile, Universal’s publishing revenues rose 6.7% at constant currency in 2016. This was also driven by increased subscription and streaming revenues, in addition to growth in synch and performance income.
Elsewhere, merchandising and other revenues were up 16.1% at constant currency due to ramped up touring activity from Universal acts.
Income from operations amounted to €687 million, up 10.7% at constant currency compared to 2015 (+9.8% on an actual basis).
The company's EBITA amounted to €644 million, up 9.1% at constant currency compared to 2015 (+8.4% on an actual basis). EBITA included legal settlement income and restructuring charges in 2016 and 2015.
Over the past few months, Universal announced several agreements with the Prince estate and NPG Records, with the major becoming the home for Prince’s music publishing, merchandise and some of his recorded music.
The company is now the exclusive worldwide publishing administrator for all of Prince’s released and unreleased songs and the exclusive worldwide branding and licensing partner. It also holds the exclusive licensing rights to certain of his NPG recordings, including some Grammy-winning songs, as well as the right to compile and release albums from his unreleased recordings.