Universal Music Group revenue drops 5% on declining CD sales; digital sales jump 54%

“Vivendi SA said Wednesday that its Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music provider, saw revenue dip 3.1% in the fourth quarter, as declining sales of physical albums took a toll on results,” David B. Wilkerson reports for MarketWatch.

“In the quarter, the Vivendi unit said revenue fell to 1.61 billion euros ($2.38 billion) from 1.66 billion euros ($2.45 billion) in the year-earlier quarter,” Wilkerson reports. “Excluding the acquisitions of BMGP and Sanctuary and at constant currency, revenue dropped 5%.”

“Digital sales jumped 54% to 188 million euros ($278.2 million), at constant currency, with strong growth in online and mobile phone categories,” Wilkerson reports.

“Since the advent of music file-sharing in the late 1990s, sales of CDs have been on the decline,” Wilkerson reports. “The introduction of Apple Computer Corp.’s [sic] iTunes platform in 2001 sped up the downturn in the CD’s popularity.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Gavin” for the heads up.]

29 Comments

  1. WS: remove the stick from your eye first…

    “They have officially removed ‘Computers’ from their name over a years ago.”

    Apple used to be Apple Computer but “a years ago” has always been improper.

  2. “The introduction of Apple Computer Corp.’s [sic] iTunes platform in 2001 sped up the downturn in the CD’s popularity.”

    I think that the iPod (and iTunes) came about as a result of totally crap albums released on CD. If CDs contained more than 1 or 2 good songs most people would have been content to continue listening to CD players. The iPod acted as a repository for the good songs people want to listen to. Even with iTunes’ a la carte song selection, if CDs provided good value they would have retained strong sales because they are unarguably higher quality recordings.

  3. @MCCFR…

    What compression are you talking about? Are you under the impression that audio compression via a peak limiter or a leveling amplifier like an LA2A is the same as data compression? Wrong – not the same at all. Are you thinking that because recording studios record at 96k/24 bit and CDs are 44.1k/16 bit devices, CDs are therefore compressed? Wrong again. Audio recorded at high sample and bit rates are Sample Rate Converted and Dithered down to 44.1k/16 bit.

  4. The problem is glossy CDs. Real audiophiles know the difference between glossy and matte CDs and if you listen to a glossy CD all day it has a damaging effect on your hearing.

    The labels don’t give customers choice and force them to buy glossy CDs without an option for matte. Just like Apple. Buh-bye Apple.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  5. “Since the advent of music file-sharing in the late 1990s, sales of CDs have been on the decline,” Wilkerson reports. “The introduction of Apple Computer Corp.’s [sic] iTunes platform in 2001 sped up the downturn in the CD’s popularity.”

    I always look for logical fallacies in the media to use in my classes. This statement is a great one conflating three items.
    1. The implicit “CD’s declined *after* file sharing debuted”
    2. The explicit “iTunes *sped up* the downturn in the CD’s”
    3. Another implicit – attribute causation of the decline to both file sharing and iTunes.

    My students are good enough to find the technical name: Post hoc, ergo propter hoc of the fallacy.

    Thanks go to Wilkerson for such a nice example of specious reasoning!

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