November 24, 2020

Stereobuzz Music Magazine

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Legal music streaming services help boost Universal’s Irish revenues

Universal Music, whose artists include Kanye West, Rhianna, Ariane Grande, Adele, Kendrik Lamar and Drake, recorded a sharp rise in profits at its Irish subsidiary last year.

Newly filed accounts for Universal Music Ireland Limited show the unit returned to profit, reporting a €3.2 million pretax profit for the 12 months ending December 2017, as against a €642,304 loss a year earlier.

The label, whose other artists include Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne, Abba, Elton John, Jay-Z and Mariah Carey, reported a 37 per cent hike in revenues, from €10.9 million to €15.06 million.

It attributed the increase in turnover to positive growth in subscribers to legal music streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music. It also came after revenues suffered after the closure of retailer HMV’s physical outlets here in 2016.

A breakdown of revenues shows €10.9 million in turnover arose from royalties and license fees with a further €4.2 million from the sale of goods.

Universal, whose Irish artists include The Riptide Movement, Walking On Cars and Delorentos, said the label maintained its leading market share in the Irish music market last year.

Staff costs at the company, which employs 18 people, fell to €1.1 million from €1.3 million. Directors’ remuneration totalled €604,964.

Shareholders’ funds rose from €840,231 to €3.6 million, the company said.

The subsidiary’s parent, Universal Music Group, reported revenues of $6.8 billion last year, up 10 per cent 2016.