Home Topics Business From Universal's massive Q2 to Spotify overtaking Netflix: it's MBW's weekly roundup

From Universal’s massive Q2 to Spotify overtaking Netflix: it’s MBW’s weekly roundup

Welcome to Music Business Worldwide’s Weekly Roundup – this is where we make sure you hear about the five biggest stories that made our headlines over the past seven days. The MBW roundup is backed by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximize their income and reduce their touring costs.

Could Universal Music Group’s revenues exceed $ 10 billion later this year?

This is certainly a possibility as the world’s largest music rights company posted half-year sales of EUR 3.83 billion ($ 4.64 billion) earlier this week.

Perhaps the bigger story at Universal right now, however, is profitability.

In the first half of 2021, UMG achieved an EBITDA profit of 822 million euros (995 million US dollars), which corresponds to a very healthy margin of 21.5%.

According to Vivendi, UMG achieved this margin through a combination of “sales growth and cost control”.

Investors in Pershing Square Tontine Holdings (PSTH) SPAC will read these numbers and weep: PSTH’s deal to acquire 10% of UMG was canceled earlier this month due to issues raised by the SEC.

(Side note of the week that suggests Wall Street isn’t always as smart as it imagines: The same day that UMG’s stellar Q2 / H1 results were announced, shares of the similarly named, but completely independent Universal Media Group – with its UMGP ticker – rose by 26.2%. Wrong company!)

Elsewhere this week, Spotify announced mixed results for the second quarter. Most of the music industry’s eyes would have been on SPOT’s strong subscriber growth, which rose 7 million in the first quarter – or more than 2 million a month.

MBW has not been able to resist making comparisons between Netflix and Spotify in the past. Here’s a rare example that gave Daniel Ek’s company a point: Spotify’s +7 million subscriber growth in the second quarter was nearly five times the equivalent “paid” Netflix memberships “(+1.5 million) in the same quarter. (Netflix actually lost 400,000 subscribers in North America in Q2.)

Other big music business stories hit in the past few days have included YouTube’s staggering ad revenue, Reservoir’s landing on the Nasdaq, and Pandora’s ongoing demise.

Read on to find out about five of the week’s biggest headlines …


Universal’s total music recording revenue (across all formats) increased 29.7% year-over-year to 1.65 billion euros ($ 1.99 billion) in the second quarter of 2021.

Sales in the music publishing business at UMG rose slightly in the second quarter compared to the same quarter of the previous year (+ 1.2%), while sales with merchandising (and “other”) rose by 67.2%.

Universal Music Group had second-quarter sales of $ 2.02 billion across all businesses, including publishing and music recording.

In the first six months of 2021 (H1 2021), UMG achieved an EBITDA of € 822 million across all business areas, including publishing and phonograms, an increase of around 31.8% year-on-year.

Spotify logo2) Spotify subscriptions rose to 165 million in the second quarter, 7 million more than in the previous quarter

Spotify released its financial results for the second quarter of 2021 this week, revealing that its global premium subscriber base rose to 165 million in the quarter ended June 30.

That was 20% more than last year and by 4% or 7 million subscribers compared to the 158 million SPOT had at the end of the previous quarter (Q1 2021).

The company’s total monthly active monthly users (MAUs) increased 22% year over year to 365 million in the second quarter of 2021 and 3% compared to the previous quarter (Q1 2021) when the platform counted 356 million MAUs.


In the three months ending June 2021 (Q2), YouTube made a whopping $ 7.002 billion from advertising alone – that’s roughly $ 77 million per day or $ 3.2 million per hour.

That comes from Alphabet’s new financial results for the period, which show YouTube’s advertising revenue increased 83.7% in the second quarter of 2021 ($ 7.002 billion) from its 2020 figure ($ 3.812 billion) ) have increased.


Reservoir Media has become a public company and is listed on the Nasdaq in the US under the ticker RSVR.

The acquiring music rights company this week confirmed the completion of its previously announced business combination with Roth CH Acquisition II Co. (ROCC), a publicly traded special purpose vehicle (SPAC) formed by Roth Capital Partners and the Craig-Hallum Capital Group.

The name of the combined company will be Reservoir Media Inc. and will continue to be run by Reservoir’s founder and chief executive officer Golnar Khosrowshahi.

Pandora music logo5) Pandora has lost over 10 million users since Sirius bought it for $ 3.5 billion

Two years later, after SiriusXM pledged billions of dollars to buy Pandora, the US-only music service’s user base continues to shrink rapidly.

According to SiriusXM’s recently published results for the second quarter of 2021, around 55.1 million monthly active users (MAUs) have been using Pandora in the three months ending June this year.

After a sustained decline in Pandora’s MAUs, that number came in at 55.1 million.

MBW’s weekly roundup is backed by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximize their income and reduce their touring costs.Music business worldwide


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest articles

Derivative data suggests that Solana has hit a short-term high

Derivative data suggests that Solana has hit a short-term high Solana (SOL) hit an all-time high of $ 216 on September 9, after rising...

Full schedule? These 15-leaf fried chicken recipes are your new midweek heroes

It's the end of September and I'm still leaving summer mode. Does anyone feel like they can't take a break from the morning...

Technology Entrepreneurship: Lab to Market l HarvardX on edX.org

Enroll now: https://www.edx.org/course/technology-entrepreneurship-lab-to-market Universities, government labs, and private companies invest billions of ...