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UMG UP 12.7% IN Q1

Revenue for Vivendi’s Universal Music Group was up 12.7% at constant currency to $1.39b in the first quarter of 2017. By rising 49% over 2016’s first three months, streaming revenues more than compensated for the decline in sales.

Streaming now represents 46% of UMG’s recorded music revenues ($508m); a year ago it was 34%. Download sales were down 20% from 2016’s Q1.

Recorded music revenues grew by 12.2% at constant currency while music publishing revenues ($239m) were up 14%. Merchandising and other revenues ($59m) were up 13.3% at constant currency, notably driven by higher retail sales. EBITDA was up 65.7% at constant currency.

For UMG, the first quarter 2017 was the sixth consecutive quarter of growth in recorded music revenues at constant currency.

Singled out for sales and streaming success in the quarter were The Weeknd, Drake and the soundtracks for La La Land, Fifty Shades Darker and Moana. Pearl Jam and Shania Twain are among the acts listed that will have new releases this year.

The company called for the global establishment of a legal framework to correct the low revenues received from user-upload platforms. They did not single out YouTube.

UMG continues to be the strongest performer in Vivendi’s portfolio, representing nearly half the French company’s quarterly revenue of $2.89b.