UMG has become the first recorded music business to generate a billion dollars of revenue from streaming services in a calendar year.
According to the Q4 results of its French parent Vivendi, the major’s streaming income was up 43.2% at constant currency in 2015 to €954m.
When you apply the Euro/US dollar exchange rate from the end of 2015 (1.089/1), that figure equates to $1.04bn.
Vivendi prefers reporting in constant currency as it reflects like-for-like business performance – but 2015 also happened to be a year where a weak Euro was a great advantage to the company’s shareholders.
In actual terms (embracing currency fluctuations), streaming income at UMG was up by a remarkable 56.2% in 2015, from €610m in 2014.
That reflected a jump in annual streaming revenues of €344m ($374m) – comfortably more than a third of a billion dollars.