Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group (also known in the United States as UMG Recordings, Inc. and abbreviated as UMG) is an American global music corporation that is a subsidiary of the French media conglomerate Vivendi. UMG's global corporate headquarters are located in Santa Monica, California. It is considered one of the "Big Three" music companies, along with Sony Music and Warner Music Group. Since 2004, the corporation is no longer related to the film studio Universal Studios. In 2019, Fast Company named Universal Music Group the most innovative music company and listed UMG among the Top 50 most innovative companies in the world and "amid the music industry's digital transformation, Universal is redefining what a modern label should look like." UMG has signed licensing agreements with more than 400 platforms worldwide.
UMG's headquarters in Santa Monica, California
|Predecessor||MCA Inc., PolyGram |
|Founder||Universal Pictures |
|Headquarters||Santa Monica, California, US|
(Chairman & CEO)
|Products||Music and entertainment|
|9,700,000,000 United States dollar (2017) |
Number of employees
|Divisions||List of Universal Music Group labels|
Universal Music was once the record company attached to film studio Universal Pictures. The company's origins go back to the formation of the American branch of Decca Records in September 1934. The Decca Record Co. Ltd. of England spun American Decca off in 1939. MCA Inc. merged with American Decca in 1962.
In November 1990, Japanese multinational conglomerate Matsushita Electric agreed to acquire MCA for $6.59 billion. In 1995, Seagram acquired 80 percent of MCA from Matsushita. On December 9, 1996, the company was renamed Universal Studios, Inc., and its music division was renamed Universal Music Group; MCA Records continued as a label within the Universal Music Group. In May 1998, Seagram purchased PolyGram and merged it with Universal Music Group in early 1999.
In May 2004, Universal Music Group was cast under separate management from Universal Studios, when French media conglomerate Vivendi sold 80% of the latter to General Electric, who subsequently merged it with NBC to form NBCUniversal. This came two months after the separation of Warner Music Group from Time Warner. In February 2006, Vivendi purchased the remaining 20 percent of UMG from Matsushita Electric.
On September 6, 2006, Vivendi announced its €1.63 billion ($2.4 billion) purchase of BMG Music Publishing; after receiving European Union regulatory approval, the acquisition was completed on June 25, 2007.
2007–2012 and EMI purchase
In June 2007, UMG acquired Sanctuary, which eventually became UMG's entertainment merchandising and brand management division, Bravado. The company represents artists such as Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, and Kanye West, and has partnered with retailers including Barneys, Bloomingdale's and Selfridges.
In 2008, Universal Music Group agreed to make its catalog available to Spotify, then a new streaming service, for use outside the U.S. on a limited basis.
Doug Morris stepped down from his position as CEO on January 1, 2011. Former chairman/CEO of Universal Music International Lucian Grainge was promoted to CEO of the company. Grainge later replaced him as chairman on March 9, 2011. Morris became the next chairman of Sony Music Entertainment on July 1, 2011. With Grainge's appointment as CEO at UMG, Max Hole was promoted to COO of UMGI, effective July 1, 2010. Starting in 2011 UMG's Interscope Geffen A&M Records began signing contestants from American Idol/Idol series. In January 2011, UMG announced it was donating 200,000 master recordings from the 1920s to 1940s to the Library of Congress for preservation.
In 2011, EMI agreed to sell its recorded music operations to Universal Music Group for £1.2 billion ($1.9 billion) and its music publishing operations to a Sony-led consortium for $2.2 billion. Among the other companies that had competed for the recorded music business was Warner Music Group which was reported to have made a $2 billion bid. IMPALA opposed the merger. In March 2012, the European Union opened an investigation into the acquisition The EU asked rivals and consumer groups whether the deal would result in higher prices and shut out competitors.
On September 21, 2012, the sale of EMI to UMG was approved in Europe and the United States by the European Commission and Federal Trade Commission respectively. However, the European Commission approved the deal only under the condition the merged company divest one third of its total operations to other companies with a proven track record in the music industry. UMG divested Mute Records, Parlophone, Roxy Recordings, MPS Records, Cooperative Music, Now That's What I Call Music!, Jazzland, Universal Greece, Sanctuary Records, Chrysalis Records, EMI Classics, Virgin Classics, and EMI's European regional labels to comply with this condition. UMG retained The Beatles (formerly of Parlophone) and Robbie Williams (formerly of Chrysalis). The Beatles catalogue was transferred to UMG's newly formed Calderstone Productions , while Williams' catalogue was transferred to Island Records.
2012–2017: EMI integration and divisions reorganization
Universal Music Group completed their acquisition of EMI on September 28, 2012. In November 2012, Steve Barnett was appointed chairman and CEO of Capitol Music Group. He formerly served as COO of Columbia Records. In compliance the conditions of the European Commission after purchase of EMI, Universal Music Group sold the Mute catalogue to the German-based BMG Rights Management on December 22, 2012. Two months later, BMG acquired Sanctuary Records for €50 million.
On February 8, 2013, Warner Music Group acquired the Parlophone Label Group (consisting of Parlophone Records, Chrysalis Records, EMI Classics, Virgin Classics and EMI Records' Belgian, Czech, Danish, French, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Slovak and Swedish divisions) for $765 million (£487 million). Later in February, Sony Music Entertainment acquired Universal's European share in Now That's What I Call Music for approximately $60 million. Play It Again Sam acquired Co-Operative Music for £500,000 in March 2013. With EMI's absorption into Universal Music complete, its British operations consist of five label units: Island, Polydor, Decca, Virgin EMI and Capitol. In the Greek market, as part of its divesture plans, Universal Music retained Minos EMI and sold Universal Music Greece to Greek investors who renamed it Cobalt Music. Edel AG acquired the MPS catalogue from Universal in January 2014.
On March 20, 2013, UMG announced the worldwide extension of their exclusive distribution deal with the Disney Music Group, excluding Japan. As a result of this deal DMG's labels and artists have access to UMG's roster of producers and songwriters on a worldwide basis. The exclusive deal also saw UMG granted unlimited access to all rights pertaining to Disney's 85-year back catalog of soundtracks and albums.
On April 2, 2013, the gospel music divisions of Motown Records and EMI merged to form a new label called Motown Gospel. In May 2013, Japanese company SoftBank offered $8.5 billion to Vivendi for the acquisition of UMG, but Vivendi rejected it. In July 2018, JPMorgan said that UMG could be worth as much as $40 billion and then increased the valuation to $50 billion in 2019.
In August 2013, UMG became the first company in the US to have nine of the Top 10 songs on the digital charts, according to SoundScan and weeks later, became the first company to hold all 10 of the Top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.
In September 2013, UMG received a SAG-AFTRA American Scene Award for the company's commitment to diversity as exemplified by its "entire catalog and roster of artists."
On April 1, 2014, Universal Music announced the disbandment of Island Def Jam Music, one of four operational umbrella groups within Universal Music. Universal CEO Lucian Grainge said of the closure, "No matter how much we might work to build 'IDJ' as a brand, that brand could never be as powerful as each of IDJ's constituent parts." Island Records and Def Jam now operate as autonomous record labels. David Massey and Bartels, who worked respectively at Island and Def Jam Records, were named to the new record labels independently. Barry Weiss, who previously moved from Sony Music to lead Island Def Jam Music in 2012 when Motown Records was incorporated into Island Def Jam, stepped down from Universal Music. Additionally, as part of the changes to the labels, Motown Records transferred to Los Angeles to become part of the Capitol Music Group and previous Vice President Ethiopia Habtemariam was promoted to Label President for Motown Records.
Universal Music Group entered into film and TV production with the 2014 purchase of Eagle Rock Entertainment. UMG's first major film production was Amy, which won an Oscar for Best Documentary, while taking part in Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck and The Beatles: Eight Days a Week documentaries. In January 2016, UMG hired David Blackman from Laurence Mark Production where he was president of production as head of film and television development and production, and theater producer Scott Landis as special advisor on theatrical development and production. UMG Executive Vice President Michele Anthony and Universal Music Publishing Group Chairman and CEO Jody Gerson have oversight of the pair. On February 11, 2017, PolyGram Entertainment was relaunched as a film and television unit of Universal Music Group under David Blackman.
In 2015, UMG's Capitol Records earned all the major Grammy Awards for the year, with Sam Smith receiving Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Song of the Year awards and Beck winning Album of the Year.
In April 2017, UMG signed a new multi-year licensing agreement with Spotify, the world's leading streaming service, and in May 2017, UMG signed a deal with Tencent, China's biggest gaming and social media firm.
In July 2017, "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and featuring Justin Bieber, became the most streamed track of all time. By 2018, the song had broken several Guinness World Records, including Most Weeks at Number 1 on Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart and most-viewed video online.
In August 2017, UMG and Grace/Beyond agreed to develop three new music-based television series, 27, Melody Island and Mixtape. 27 would focus on musicians at the age of 27, an age at which several iconic musicians died. Melody Island was an animated series based on tropical island music with live craft segments. Mixtape had twelve episodes, with each episode connected to a song.
In November 2017, USC Annenberg announced UMG's partnership in the "Annenberg Inclusion Initiative", becoming the first music company to do so. The initiative is meant to create change for representation of women and underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in the media industry.
In December 2017, Universal Music Group acquired the catalogues of Stiff Records and ZTT Records, along with Perfect Songs Publishing, from Trevor Horn's SPZ Group. That same month, UMG signed a global, multi-year agreement with Facebook becoming the first major music company to license its recorded music and publishing catalogs for video and other social experiences across Facebook, Instagram and Oculus. UMG also signed a multi-year licensing agreement with YouTube that month.
In July, The Rolling Stones signed a worldwide agreement with UMG covering the band's recorded music and audio-visual catalogues, archival support, global merchandising and brand management. That same month, Vivendi announced it would explore selling as much as half of Universal Music Group to one or more investors.
In Nielsen's 2018 US Music Mid-Year report, UMG made history with eight of the Top 10 artists, including all of the top five, as well as all of the top eight artists ranked by on-demand audio streams.
In August 2018, UMG announced a strategic expansion in Africa, opening an office in Abidjan to oversee French-speaking Africa, and also unveiling a Universal Music Nigera office in Lagos to focus on signing local artists and taking them global.
In September, singer Elton John signed a global partnership agreement with UMG across recorded music, music publishing, brand management, and licensing rights.
On November 19, 2018, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift signed a new multi-album deal with UMG, in the United States, her future releases will be promoted under the Republic Records imprint. In addition to the promised ownership of her master recordings, UMG agreed to, in the event that it sells portions of its stake in Spotify, distribute proceeds among its artists and make them non-recoupable.
In February 2019, UMG fully acquired music distributor INgrooves.
UMG was named to Fast Company's annual list of the World's 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2019, the first major music company to be included on the list in a decade. UMG is also ranked number 1 in the music category.
UMG was named by Forbes as one of America's Best Midsize Employers in 2019.
In August 2019, Tencent and Vivendi started negotiation to sell 10% Vivendi's stake of Universal Music to Tencent. The deal is expected to be of $3.36 billion.
Universal Music Group's executive management board consists of Sir Lucian Grainge, Michele Anthony, Frank Briegmann, Jody Gerson, Jeffrey Harleston, David Joseph, Andrew Kronfeld, Boyd Muir, Michael Nash, Gautum Srivastava, and Will Tanous.
Los Angeles metropolitan area
The UMG main global headquarters are located in Santa Monica. Interscope-Geffen-A&M and Universal Music Enterprises (UME), the company's catalog division, are also headquartered there. Def Jam, Island and Republic Records also maintain offices at the Santa Monica headquarters. UMG chairman & CEO Lucian Grainge is based at the company's Santa Monica headquarters. Universal Music Publishing is also headquartered in the city.
Universal Music Latin America is headquartered in Miami, Florida.
Universal Music Group Nashville is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee.
New York City
CD price fixing
In 2000, music companies including UMG entered into consent agreements with the Federal Trade Commission, with no admission of liability, whereby they agreed to discontinue the use of Minimum Advertised Price programs under which subsidized cooperative advertising was provided to retailers that agreed to adhere to minimum advertised pricing.
In 2002, a similar settlement was entered into with music publishers and distributors Sony Music, Warner Music, Bertelsmann Music Group, EMI Music and Universal Music Group and certain retailers, without admission of liability or wrongdoing, with various states. In settlement of the claim, the companies collectively agreed to pay a $67.4 million fine and distribute $75.7 million in CDs to public and non-profit groups. It was estimated that consumers were overcharged by $500 million and up to $5 per album.
In May 2006, an investigation led by then New York Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer, concluded with a determination that Universal Music Group bribed radio stations to play songs from Ashlee Simpson, Brian McKnight, Big Tymers, Nick Lachey, Lindsay Lohan and other performers under Universal labels. The company paid $12 million to the state in settlement.
In 2007, with the help of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Stephanie Lenz sued UMG's publishing company for allegedly improperly requesting that, pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, YouTube remove a 29-second home video in which Lenz's child danced to a recording of Prince's song "Let's Go Crazy". After years of litigation, the suit settled in 2018, prior to the court holding a trial on whether UMG had a subjective belief that the video was infringing and not fair to use before sending its request to YouTube. In April 2016, UMG had the audio muted of a video clip showing Katherine Jenkins singing the British national anthem. They claimed that the recording of "God Save the Queen" was copyrighted, and YouTube initially complied with this request, but subsequently offered the video with the original audio track.
In December 2007, UMG announced a deal with Imeem which allows users of the social network to listen to any track from Universal's catalogue for free with a portion of the advertising generated by the music being shared with the record label. All traffic was redirected to MySpace after that company acquired Imeem on December 8, 2009.
Universal archive fire (2008)
According to Jody Rosen of The New York Times, the fire which swept through Universal Studios Hollywood on June 1, 2008 caused "the biggest disaster in the history of the music business". In space rented from NBC-Universal, according to an official document marked "Confidential", the fire destroyed at least 118,230 "assets" (master recordings), or about 500,000 song titles, owned by UMG. "The vault housed tape masters for Decca, the pop, jazz and classical powerhouse; it housed master tapes for the storied blues label Chess; it housed masters for Impulse!, the groundbreaking jazz label. The vault held masters for the MCA, ABC, A&M, Geffen and Interscope labels; as well as some smaller subsidiary labels. Nearly all of these masters—in some cases, the complete discographies of entire record labels—were wiped out in the fire." In a statement issued on June 11, 2019, UMG said The New York Times article contained "numerous inaccuracies, misleading statements, contradictions and fundamental misunderstandings of the scope of the incident and affected assets." Following the publication of the New York Times story, Questlove of The Roots confirmed that the master tapes for two of the band's albums, including unused material and multi-track recordings, were lost in the fire. Similarly, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic said he believed the masters for the band's 1991 album Nevermind were "gone forever" as a result of the fire. Representatives for R.E.M. announced they would investigate the effects the fire may have had on the band's archival materials, while Hole, Steely Dan, Rosanne Cash and Geoff Downes made statements on their possible losses from the fire.
A representative for Eminem confirmed that the rapper's master recordings were digitized months before the fire, but could not confirm whether the physical master reels of his recordings were affected. UMG archivist Patrick Kraus assured that the Impulse! Records, John Coltrane, Muddy Waters, Ahmad Jamal, Nashboro Records, and Chess Records masters survived the fire and were still in Universal's archive.
Howard King filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles on June 21, 2019, on behalf of Soundgarden, Hole, Steve Earle, the estate of Tupac Shakur and a former wife of Tom Petty that seeks class action status for artists whose master recordings were believed to have been destroyed in the Universal Studios fire.
On December 9, 2011, Megaupload published a music video titled: "The Mega Song", showing artists including Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Alicia Keys and will.i.am endorsing the company. The music video was also uploaded to YouTube, but was removed following a takedown request by UMG. Megaupload said that the video contained no infringing content, commenting: "we have signed agreements with every featured artist for this campaign". Megaupload requested an apology from UMG, and filed a lawsuit against the company in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, on December 12, 2011. UMG denied that the takedown was ordered under the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and said that the takedown was "pursuant to the UMG-YouTube agreement," which gives UMG "the right to block or remove user-posted videos through YouTube's CMS (Content Management System) based on a number of contractually specified criteria." The video was subsequently returned to YouTube, with the reasons for the UMG takedown remaining unclear. Lawyers for will.i.am initially claimed that he had never agreed to the project, and on December 12, he denied any involvement in the takedown notice. Megaupload dismissed its case against UMG in January 2012.
Copyright termination lawsuit
On February 5, 2019, John Waite and Joe Ely filed a class-action lawsuit against UMG claiming the company is violating their right to terminate grants of copyright after 35 years in accordance with copyright law of the United States by ignoring Notices of Termination. On May 3, 2019, UMG filed a motion to dismiss the case, stating the Notices of Termination were not valid because the songs were not grants of copyright but works for hire.
- Christman, Ed. "Universal Music Group 2018 Earnings: Revenue Tops $7.1B as Streaming Spikes 31 Percent". Billboard. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
- "Vivendi Annual Report 2018" (PDF). Vivendi. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
- "The World's Most Innovative Companies 2019: Music Honorees". Fast Company. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
- McCorvey, J. J. (February 19, 2019). "How $33 billion Universal Music Group is redefining the modern music label". Fast Company. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
- "Music - Vivendi". www.vivendi.com. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- "The Origin & Many Uses of Shellac by R.J. Wakeman". AntiquePhono.org. May 6, 2015. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
- "US Decca LP Labels". HeroInc.0Catch.com. Daniels, Frank. 2003. Archived from the original on January 4, 2009. Retrieved March 20, 2008.
- Rackmil, Milton R. (August 28, 1954). "Pioneers' Dream Becomes Reality With Decca". Billboard. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
- "HITS Daily Double : Rumor Mill - A BRIEF HISTORY OF MCA RECORDS". HITS Daily Double. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- "It's a Wrap: MCA Sold: Matsushita to Pay About $6.6 Billion". The Los Angeles Times. November 26, 1990. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- "Who Gets What From MCA Deal". The New York Times. December 1, 1990. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- "Seagram heads for Hollywood; Seagram will buy 80% of big studio from Matsushita". The New York Times. April 7, 1995. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- "Matsushita, Freed of MCA, Reports a Profit". The New York Times. August 28, 1996. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- Reckard, E. Scott (December 9, 1996). "MCA changes name to Universal Studios Inc". Orlando Business Journal.
- "Seagram buys PolyGram". CNN. May 21, 1998. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- "Hundreds of Jobs Lost in Universal Mega-Merger". Rolling Stone. January 22, 1999. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- Adegoke, Yinka (May 25, 2007). "Universal Music closes on BMG". Thomson Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved November 20, 2008.
- "Universal to buy BMG publishing". News.BBC.co.uk. September 6, 2006. Retrieved November 25, 2007.
- Allen, Katie (August 3, 2007). "Universal buys troubled Sanctuary for £44.5m". The Guardian. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- Safronova, Valeriya (July 25, 2017). "Maestros of the Concert Merchandise Movement". The New York Times. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- Lockwood, Lisa (January 4, 2018). "Bloomingdale's Teams With Universal Music Group and Bravado for Major Retail Promotion". WWD. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- Randhawa, Kiran (May 8, 2018). "A Rolling Stones pop-up shop is coming to Selfridges". Evening Standard. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- "How Spotify Built a $20 Billion Business by Changing How People Listen to Music". Product Habits. June 4, 2018. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
- Szalai, Georg. "Universal Music Promotes Max Hole to Chairman, CEO of UMG International". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- "Vivendi Appoints Lucian Grainge Chairman & CEO of Universal Music Group". Billboard.biz. March 9, 2011. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
- Smith, Ethan (March 3, 2011). "Sony Music Recruits CEO". The Wall Street Journal.
- "Universal Music Group International promotes Max Hole to Chief Operating Officer". Ifpi.org. March 15, 2010. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
- "Pop & Hiss". Los Angeles Times. January 10, 2011.
- "Citigroup Sells EMI in Parts for $4.1 Billion to Vivendi, Sony". Businessweek.com. December 8, 2009. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
- Warner Music Group Wants Part Of EMI Archived July 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine – Radio-Info.com Archived October 31, 2011, at the Wayback Machine (released October 31, 2011)
- "Color". Impalamusic.org.
- "EU opens investigation into Universal, EMI deal". Reuters.
- "This page has been removed". The Guardian.
- Joshua R. Wueller, Mergers of Majors: Applying the Failing Firm Doctrine in the Recorded Music Industry, 7 Brook. J. Corp. Fin. & Com. L. 589, 602–04 (2013) (describing the antitrust scrutiny surrounding the sale of EMI's recorded music division to UMG).
- Sweney, Mark (September 21, 2012). "Universal's £1.2bn EMI takeover approved – with conditions". The Guardian. London. Retrieved September 21, 2012.
- Ingham, Tim. "Universal's Capitol takes shape: Barnett in, Beatles on roster". Music Week. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Sisario, Ben. "Universal Closes on EMI Deal, Becoming, by Far, Biggest of Remaining Big Three". Mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "FMQB: Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Nielsen Ratings, Music News and more!". Fmqb.com. Archived from the original on February 17, 2013.
- Ingham, Tim (December 21, 2012). "BMG buys Mute catalogue from Universal". Music Week. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
- "Analysis: BMG Poised to Become a Top Indie Catalog Following Sanctuary Acquisition". Billboard.com. February 15, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Sisario, Ben (February 8, 2013). "Warner Music Group Buys EMI Assets for $765 Million". The New York Times. Retrieved February 8, 2013.
- "Warner to buy the Parlophone Label Group". Gramophone.co.uk. February 7, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- "Universal Music Sells Now! European Rights to Sony Music". Bloomberg.com.
- [PIAS]‘s Co-op acquisition approved. Complete Music Update (March 26, 2013). Retrieved on July 16, 2013.
- Universal Music UK Announces Launch of Virgin EMI Records. Billboard (March 18, 2013). Retrieved on July 16, 2013.
- Κέρκης, Γιάννης. "H Cobalt Music "αγόρασε" την Universal Music Greece". Ogdoo.gr.
- Onti, Nicky Mariam. "MINOS-EMI Greek Universal Subsidiary | GreekReporter.com". GreekReporter. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- "Edel kauft legendäres Jazzlabel von Universal". Edel AG. Archived from the original on February 14, 2015.
- Universal Music Group (March 20, 2013). "Universal Music Group (UMG) & Disney Music Group (DMG) Expand Agreement Globally". Prnewswire.com.
- "UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP (UMG) & DISNEY MUSIC GROUP (DMG) EXPAND AGREEMENT GLOBALLY". Universalmusic.com.
- Motown Records and EMI Gospel Announce Joint Venture: Motown Gospel | EURweb – Part 1. EURweb (April 2, 2013). Retrieved on July 16, 2013.
- "Vivendi Declined SoftBank's Lucrative Offer for Universal". The New York Times. July 19, 2013. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- Steigrad, Alexandra (July 31, 2018). "Universal Music Group won't go public". New York Post. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- Ingham, Tim (February 18, 2019). "Universal Music Group valuation hits $50bn – as Vivendi seeks 'half dozen' investment bank partners". Music Business Worldwide. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- Caulfield, Keith. "Universal Music Distribution Owns Record Nine of Top 10 Digital Songs". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- Atkinson, Claire (September 14, 2013). "Universal a perfect 10 on Billboard 100". New York Post. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- McNary, Dave (September 24, 2013). "SAG-AFTRA Honors 'Secret Life Of The American Teenager'". Variety. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- "SAG-AFTRA Announces American Scene Award Recipients". SAG-AFTRA. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- Sisario, Ben (April 1, 2014). "Universal Music Group Breaks Up Its Island Def Jam Division". The New York Times.
- Barnes, Henry (February 29, 2016). "Amy wins best documentary feature Oscar". The Guardian. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- Chagollan, Steve (January 7, 2016). "Universal Music Group Taps David Blackman, Scott Landis for Film, TV Development and Production". Variety. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
- Littleton, Cynthia (February 12, 2017). "Universal Music Group Revives Polygram Label for Film and TV Production". Variety. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
- Lewis, Randy. "Grammy Awards bring gold to revitalized Capitol Records". latimes.com. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- Rys, Dan. "Universal Music Group Buys Digital Marketer Fame House From SFX". Billboard. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- Halperin, Shirley. "Paul McCartney Signs Worldwide Deal with Capitol Records". Billboard. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- "The Bee Gees Ink Worldwide Deal With Capitol Records". Billboard. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- Atkinson, Claire (April 3, 2017). "Spotify, UMG finally reach long-term streaming deal". New York Post. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- Aswad, Jem (May 16, 2017). "Universal Music Group Inks Major Licensing Deal With Tencent in China". Variety. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- Cadell, Cate (May 16, 2017). "China's Tencent seals exclusive music licensing deal with UMG". Reuters. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- "'Despacito' Makes History as Most Streamed Song of All Time". Variety. July 19, 2017.
- Roiz, Jessica. "Luis Fonsi Breaks Seven Guinness World Records Titles Thanks To 'Despacito'". Billboard. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- Otterson, Joe (August 21, 2017). "Universal Music Group Partners With 'Beat Bugs' Producers for Three New Music-Based Series". Variety. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
- Espinoza, Josh. "Universal Music Group's New Program to Benefit Music-Based Startups". Complex. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- "USC Annenberg launches 'Annenberg Inclusion Initiative'". annenberg.usc.edu. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- "Universal 'accelerates efforts to promote diversity and inclusion' with new initiative". Music Business Worldwide. November 16, 2017. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- "Universal Music Acquires Iconic British Labels Stiff Records and ZTT". Billboard.com.
- Steigard, Alexandra (December 21, 2017). "Universal Music signs multiyear licensing deal with Facebook". New York Post. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- Steigrad, Alexandra (December 20, 2017). "YouTube signs deal with UMG, Sony over streaming policies". New York Post. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- "ウォルト・ディズニー・レコーズの日本国内における独占ライセンス契約を締結". プレスリリース・ニュースリリース配信シェアNo.1｜PR TIMES. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
- "Rolling Stones Expand Partnership With Universal Music Group". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
- Keslassy, Elsa; Keslassy, Elsa (July 30, 2018). "Vivendi to Sell Up to Half of Universal Music Group". Variety.com. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
- Karp, Hannah. "Why a Partial Universal Music Group Sale Could Spark a Wider Music Biz Selloff". Billboard. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
- "Rumor Mill - IT'S GOOD TO BE KING—BETTER THAN EVER, IN FACT". HITS Daily Double. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
- "Universal Music to boost its investment in Africa". Music In Africa. August 4, 2015. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
- Adegoke, Yinka; Adegoke, Yinka. "The world's biggest music company is setting its sights on Africa". Quartz Africa. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
- "Elton John signs with Universal 'for the rest of his career'". Reuters. September 21, 2018. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
- Wang, Amy X. (November 19, 2018). "Taylor Swift's New Record Deal Affects Thousands of Other Musicians". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
- Willman, Chris (August 27, 2018). "Taylor Swift Stands to Make Music Business History as a Free Agent". Variety. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
- Aswad, Jem; Willman, Chris (November 19, 2018). "Taylor Swift Signs New Deal With Universal Music Group". Variety. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
- Hassan, Aisha; Hassan, Aisha. "Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" is the most streamed classic rock song of all time". Quartzy. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
- "Universal Music to Acquire Distributor Ingrooves in Move to Strengthen Commitment to Indie Labels". Billboard. February 12, 2019. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
- "Universal Music Group on the Forbes America's Best Midsize Employers List". Forbes. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
- Edwards, Gavin (June 19, 2019). "That Glitchy Music Video on YouTube? It's Getting an Upgrade". The New York Times. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
- "Vivendi Enters Talks With Tencent to Sell Stake In Universal Music Group". Billboard. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
- Chu, Henry; Chu, Henry (August 6, 2019). "Tencent in Talks to Buy 10% of Universal Music Group". Variety. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
- "Universal Music Group". UMG. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
- "Universal to Create Hulu-like Music Video Site". Retrieved August 10, 2016.
- Daly, Rhian. "Vevo to close website and mobile apps".
- "Steve Barnett to lead Capitol Music Group". Latimes.com.
- Levine, Robert. "Cindy Oliver Q&A: Getting to Know the EVP in Charge of Doling Out the Dough to Universal Music Artists". Billboard. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
- "Global". UMG. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
- "Universal Music Moving UK Headquarters from Kensington to King's Cross". Billboard. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
- "UNIVERSAL MUSIC POLSKA - O FIRMIE". Universal Music Polska (in Polish). Retrieved May 30, 2019.
- Bliss, Karen. "Universal Music Canada Relocating to 'Rock Star Building' in Downtown Toronto". Billboard. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
- "USATODAY.com - States settle CD price-fixing case". usatoday30.usatoday.com. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
- "Music firms settle price-fixing case". Retrieved August 1, 2019.
- Labaton, Stephen (May 11, 2000). "5 Music Companies Settle Federal Case On CD Price-Fixing". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
- "Universal settles payola probe". USA Today. May 11, 2006. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
- "Complaint". Electronic Frontier Foundation. October 1, 2007. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
- "A Landmark Legal Battle Over a Toddler Dancing to Prince Song Looks to Be Ending". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
- Bailey, Jonathan (June 19, 2018). "The Non-Legacy of the Dancing Baby Case". Plagiarism Today. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
- "Universal Music Group Backs Off Claims to Michelle Malkin Video". Electronic Frontier Foundation. May 14, 2007. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
- "They Are The People". April 22, 2016. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
- (Internet Archive of original link)
- "Ok, Now It's Done. MySpace Music Completes Acquisition Of iMeem". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
- Rosen, Jody (June 11, 2019). "The Day the Music Burned". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
- Chokshi, Niraj (June 11, 2019). "Recordings by Elton John, Nirvana and Thousands More Lost in Fire". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
- Aswad, Jem (June 11, 2019). "Universal Music Disputes Severity of 2008 Fire Cited in New York Times Article". Variety. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
- "Hole Say They Were Never Told About Lost Recordings in Warehouse Fire". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
- Holson, Laura M. (June 12, 2019). "Musicians Mourn the Fiery Destruction of Their Recordings: 'I Think They Are Gone Forever'". The New York Times. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
- Colburn, Randall. "Nirvana's Krist Novoselic believes Nevermind masters lost in Universal fire". News. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
- "Eminem Master Tapes Were Digitally Backed Up Just Months Before Universal Fire: Report". Billboard. June 12, 2019. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
- Sisario, Ben (June 21, 2019). "Artists Sue Universal Music Group Over Losses in 2008 Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
- Gardner, Eriq. "A Universal Music Fire Case Could Break New Legal Ground". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
- RIAA Label Artists & A-List Stars Endorse Megaupload In New Song December 9, 2011. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
- Universal Censors Megaupload Song, Gets Branded a "Rogue Label" December 10, 2011. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
- Megaupload threatens to sue Universal over YouTube video The Guardian (London), December 13, 2011. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
- Megaupload to Sue Universal, Joins Fight Against SOPA December 12, 2011. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
- UMG claims "right to block or remove" YouTube videos it doesn't own Ars Technica, December 16, 2011. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
- File-Sharing Company Sues Record Label, for a Change New York Times, December 13, 2011. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
- UMG, MegaUpload Case Gets Even Stranger; Will.i.am Says He Didn't Authorize A Takedown Techdirt. December 15, 2011. Retrieved December 17, 2011.
- "Megaupload Drops Lawsuit Against Universal Music Over Viral Video (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
- French, Leonard (May 18, 2018). "Music Industry Opposes Copyright Termination; What is it?". Lawful Masses with Leonard French. YouTube. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
- Sanchez, Daniel (May 7, 2018). "Universal Music Is Battling to Nullify the 35-Year Copyright Termination Right". digitalmusicnews.com. Retrieved May 18, 2018.