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Universal Music Group Shows 49% Streaming Growth in Solid First Quarter

The WeekndThe Weeknd in concert at
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Universal Music Group posted solid growth in its first-quarter 2017 earnings report, released today as part of the larger announcement from its parent company Vivendi.

Overall, the company showed a 12.7% growth in revenue — to $1.39 billion — over the same period in 2016. Recorded music saw a 12.2% growth, publishing 14% and 13.3% in its “merchandising and other” category (notably its Bravado merch company).

Subscription and streaming revenue grew 49% year over year, and download sales continue to plummet, as they do for the entire industry, at 20%. Streaming and subscription now represent 46% of UMG’s recorded-music revenues ($508 million), the report states, with 22% coming from physical, 17% from licensing and other similar sources, and 15% from other digital (largely downloads).

The company’s top-selling albums in the quarter were The Weeknd’s “Starboy” album, Drake’s “More Life” and the soundtracks to “La La Land,” “Fifty Shades Darker” and Moana soundtrack.

Major new and upcoming releases that will help power the company this year include the 50th anniversary edition of The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” as well as albums from Lana Del Rey, Feist, Helene Fischer, Imagine Dragons, Juanes, Lorde, Pearl Jam, Katy Perry, Chris Stapleton and Shania Twain.