Vivendi saw its annual revenues jump by 14% to €15.8 billion ($17 billion) in 2019, driven once again by the performance of Universal Music Group which had a record year, and to a lesser extent by Canal Plus Group.
Canal Plus Group, which is the parent company of the pay TV group Canal Plus and the film/TV production and distribution banner Studiocanal, posted a 2% increase on revenues to €5,2 billion ($5.6 billion). By the end of 2019, Canal Plus Group’s total subscriber portfolio reached 20.3 million — three million more than in 2018 — thanks to the recent acquisition of the pay TV operator M7. These include 8.4 million subscribers in mainland France.
Revenues from international operations grew strongly by 13.7%, while Studiocanal’s revenues dropped by 12% to €434 million ($470 million), which Vivendi said was “due to fewer theatrical releases compared to 2018.”
Vivendi highlighted the recent deals that Canal Plus Group made during the last quarter, including its distribution agreements with Netflix and Disney Plus, as well as the acquisition of rights for UEFA Champions League, and its agreement with BeIN Sports, which will allow Canal Plus Group to broadcast two matches of Ligue 1 per championship day starting with the upcoming 2020/2021 season.
Universal Music Group, meanwhile, was Vivendi’s rockstar in 2019 with its revenues reaching more than $7.7 billion, up 14% thanks to a 21.5% surge in streaming revenue. However, Vivendi, which has already sold 10% of UMG to a consortium led by Tencent Holdings for $3.3 billion, said on Thursday that UMG is planning an IPO within the next three years. As of Dec. 2019, UMG was valued at $33 billion.
New releases from Billie Eilish, Post Malone, Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande were among UMG’s recorded music best sellers for 2019.