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.]


  1. It was Napster that brought the decline in CD’s. Napster was rewarded when someone payed them millions for the name.
    Then the music industry started falling over themselves trying to support it because it wasn’t Apple.

    I think the music industry deserves what they are getting.

    Or. . . is it all-you-can-eat music subscriptions that is hurting CD sales.
    Do you know how easy it is to download all-you-can-eat music and then get past the copy protection?

  2. Some old, same old. In the sixties and seventies, TV supposedly killed the movie business. Movies sure don’t look dead to me!

    Digital cameras killed the 35mm film cameras. Funny, how Canon, Olympus, and Nikon are still leading the pack. How? They recognised the trend and decided to be leaders, not whiners. The customers wanted digital, and digital they got.

    Even Fuji and Kodak are doing fine in the digital age, despite the fact that their business with 35mm films crumbled. Only Agfa-Gevaert went belly-up, because they didn’t see the signs of the times.

  3. Come on Steve! Hurry up and launch iTunes Store in other countries (especially here in Singapore)! I can’t wait to do my part to hasten the death of those greedy bastards! Gimme songs! Gimme movies! Gimme a reason to buy TV and a TB hard disk!

    Thank you.

  4. …just like cell phones are killing the land-line

    cell phones: more expensive per minute, more expensive per handset, at lower quality, but that is trumped by convenience, portabillity, flexibility, and the “line to person” vs “line to location” nature…

    …and then there will be the luddites, 60 yrs from now, who will still only use landlines because is still the only “true quality” ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  5. The very first post here, Jocko, got it spot on.

    It’s about the music dummy!!!

    When 99% of the music output sucks you’re going to get slower CD sales. When enough people get tired of buying expensive CDs only to find they like only 3 of the songs, they’re going to quit buying CDs.

    I’m actually amazed CD sales haven’t totally tanked by now.
    The vast majority of my son’s collection is of music older than he is.
    Eagles, Queen, Rush, LZep, Floyd, Kraftwerk, TDream, Genesis, JM Jarre, on and on. And that’s just the rock and electronic stuff he has.

    These guys gave us *musical composition*, not some spotty dufus on guitar going blang blang blang blang blang over and over. One or two songs like this are well and good, but a whole album of that??
    No thanks.

  6. Can 99.9% of people actually distinguish different bitrates? Are those people complaining about “Quality,” serious?

    Whether I were to play you the same song from a pristine vinyl record, a CD, a 256k or even a 128k MP3/AAC file, would you seriously be able to tell the difference?

    I’d rather have tens of thousands of songs in my pocket at 128k then a litteral room full of so called “high quality CDs.” What do you propose? Hauling around a truck-sized trailer full of CDs everywhere you go perhaps?

  7. @ This must be BS
    Well, with most people’s audio systems, probably not. But there are some people who do have very good audio systems. Some even have recording equipment with some very serious audio reproduction systems and speakers. In this situation, yes you would be able to tell the difference. Well, at least I can.

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