During 2018, UMG, commercially speaking, ruled the blockbuster music charts of 2018. Eight of the year’s top 10 most popular artists (across all formats) in the U.S. - including Drake, Eminem, J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar and Post Malone - were signed to the company. As a result, Universal Music Group ended last year with an unprecedented near-40 percent annual streaming market share in the States.
Now, with the company valued $42bn (according to Morgan Stanley's projections), Sony and Warner are watching and, despite their obvious annoyance about UMG’s success, they paradoxically are crossing their fingers. This because Universal’s parent, Vivendi, is in the process of selling up to 50 percent of the world’s biggest music-rights company... and all indications suggest it’s going to bank an astronomical sum of money. This, in turn, could spell amazing news for Sony and Warner’s own valuations; which, again in turn, could potentially start a megabucks sales frenzy.
As "Music Busines Worldwide" puts it, we can explain this woth an analogy: Mr. Universal lives on the same street as Mr. Sony and Mr. Warner. Every day, as they pass Mr. Universal’s door, Mr. Sony and Mr. Warner will him to fail at life. But now, Mr. Universal has put his house up for sale, and the neighborhood gossips are rumoring that it might go for much more than anyone dared expect. If it does, Mr. Sony and Mr. Warner will get straight on the phone to their realtor.
You can read the whole report here.
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