Universal Music Group has reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2023 (up to March 31).
Revenue for Q1 was €2.451 billion, an increase of 9.3% year-on-year (all figures in constant currency).
Recorded music revenue for the first quarter was €1.923 billion, up 9.6%. Subscription revenue grew 10.3%, though ad-funded streaming revenue declined by 2.2% as the advertising industry continued to be impacted by a difficult economic environment. Overall streaming revenue was up 7.1%.
Physical revenue increased by 32.6%, driven by strong CD and DVD sales in Japan and improvements in vinyl sales. License and other revenue improved by 8.1%, as a result of improvements in neighbouring rights income.
Top sellers for the quarter included releases from King & Prince, Morgan Wallen, Taylor Swift, Tomorrow x Together and Back Number.
Music publishing revenue for the first quarter was €425 million, up 11.5%.
Merchandising and other revenue in the first quarter was €107 million, down 3.6%. This decrease was due to the year-on-year comparison with touring merchandise sales against last year's pent-up demand for touring following a post-Covid reopening.
“Our strong start to the year demonstrates our consistency in developing great artists and introducing their music to fans around the world,” said Sir Lucian Grainge, UMG’s chairman and CEO. “We look forward to building on this momentum and furthering our track record of transforming disruptive technologies into opportunities to accelerate our business for our artists, fans and shareholders.”
“Our results reflect the continued evolution of our business towards consistent and predictable revenue from a growing array of sources,” said Boyd Muir, EVP, CFO and president of operations for UMG. “With revenue up 9% and adjusted EBITDA up 13%, we’re encouraged by our first quarter and remain on track to meet our plans for the year.”