Vivendi’s third quarter revenues increased by 16.7% to €3.97 billion ($4.4 billion) compared with the third quarter of 2018, once again boosted by the growth of Universal Music Group.
For the first nine months of 2019, Vivendi’s revenues reached €11.3 billion ($12.5 billion), an increase of 14.6% compared to the same period in 2018.
Universal Music Group’s (UMG) revenues were up 17.5% to €5.06 billion ($5.63 billion) compared to the first nine months of 2018. Recorded music revenues grew by 15.6%, bolstered by the growth in subscription and streaming revenues (up by 23.4%) and strong physical sales (up 14.9%).
All these helped offset the continued decline in download sales, which were down by 20.4%.
During the third quarter, UMG scored big with Taylor Swift’s “Lover,” which had the biggest sales week for any album in the United States since the release of her last album, Reputation, in 2017. “Lover” sold nearly 700,000 copies in traditional album sales, surpassing 1 million in total consumption.
UMG’s merchandising and other revenues skyrocketed by 82.4% compared to the first nine months of 2018, driven by the increased touring activity and growth in retail and direct-to- consumer revenues.
Vivendi announced in August that it had begun negotiations with Chinese digital giant Tencent to sell it a 10% stake in Universal Music Group. The negotiations were based on a valuation of UMG of €30 billion ($33 billion) and give Tencent a one-year option to purchase another 10% stake on the same terms.