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Universal label shows digital gains, praises Spotify

CD sales still heading south, though

Universal Music, the world's biggest record label, said digital revenues grew eight per cent in 2009, even though revenue was €4.6bn, 6.2 per cent down on 2008.

The company said it made cost cuts to keep profits on course. Publishing was steady while merchandise sales grew 25 per cent.

A brief paragraph says it's fully behind MusicStation and Spotify. The latter isn't so surprising: Universal Music is an investor in the ambitious streaming music startup.

Parent Vivendi Universal grossed almost €27bn, in revenue for 2009, but music is only a small part of that. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 alone snagged almost $1bn of that. Total losses for the last quarter of the year were €958m ($1.3bn).

Vivendi flogged off US TV network NBC in the year. The company also made a half billion Euro provision against a lawsuit payout, alleging mismanagement between 2000 and 2002. ®

Strange but true: Vivendi began life as the Parisians' sewage monopoly Compagnie Générale des Eaux, in 1853. It used the water and waste pipelines to move into telecoms, and then pay TV (Canal+), finally flogging off the sewage business ten years ago.

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