UMG Dominated Digital Sales
March 30, 2009 at 6:02 AM (PT)
UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP, the biggest of the world's four major music companies, made the most money percentage- and dollar-wise from digital sales in 2008, according to the most recent earnings from each, reports BUSINESSINSIDER.COM.
But now that the biggest online music retailer, ITUNES, is raising prices for popular tracks to $1.29, UNIVERSAL could be particularly vulnerable if consumers reject ITUNES' higher prices and seek out cheaper music. The reason: as of SATURDAY night, 37 of the 100 most-downloaded songs on ITUNES were from UMG artists. Then again, it's possible that WARNER MUSIC and EMI, whose digital sales increased noticeably last year from the year before, could see their growing online revenues flatten. As the smaller players, that would have more of an impact on their bottom lines.
On the eve of ITUNES' price hike, set to begin APRIL 7th, and the next round of quarterly earnings announcements, the article sizes up how much the major labels made from digital sales in 2008:
UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP: Recorded-music revenues: $5.5 billion, Digital sales: $1.2 billion, or 22% of recorded-music sales, up 30.5% from 2007
WARNER MUSIC GROUP: Recorded-music revenues: $2.9 billion, Digital sales: $599 million, or 21% of recorded-music sales, up 38% from 2007
EMI: Recorded-music revenues (for the six months ending 9/30/08): $876 million, Digital sales (for the six months ending 9/30/08): $185 million, or 21% of recorded-music sales, up 38% from the same six-month period in 2007.