Universal Music Group confirms job cuts while 'investing in future growth'

Universal Music Group confirms job cuts while 'investing in future growth'

Universal Music Group plans to implement job cuts in the months ahead.

Ahead of its financial results for 2023, UMG has confirmed plans for "efficiencies", following a report by Bloomberg. The music company had around 10,000 staff globally according to its annual report in 2022.

The major’s decision to reduce the headcount follows similar moves at music, entertainment and tech companies, including Spotify, Amazon, Google and others. 

However, UMG is not about to make cuts on the scale of Spotify, which last month announced plans to reduce staff headcount by 17%. Warner Music and BMG have both implemented job reductions on a much lower scale.

Universal Music reported revenue growth of 10% in Q3. CEO and chairman Sir Lucian Grainge spoke on the earnings call in October about the plan to reduce overheads in order to create growth in other parts of the business.

Although there have been industry concerns about a post-pandemic slowdown in the rate of expansion, markets including the UK and US performed well as part of global streaming growth in 2023. 

Bloomberg’s report suggested that Universal Music plans to cut hundreds of jobs in the recorded music division in Q1. But UMG has not commented on the exact number of jobs that will be lost. 

A spokesperson told Music Week: “We continue to position UMG to accelerate its leadership in music’s most promising growth areas and drive its transformation to capitalise on them. Over the past several years, we have been investing in future growth – building our e-commerce and D2C operations, expanding geographically, and leveraging new technologies. While we maintain our industry-leading investments in A&R and artist development, we are creating efficiencies in other areas of the business so we can remain nimble and responsive to the dynamic market, while realising the benefits of our scale.” 

Earlier this week, Sir Lucian Grainge wrote to staff about the need to “further evolve our organisational structure to create efficiencies”, while continuing with investments in A&R and artist development.


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