Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03/02/universal_music_headline_results/

Universal label shows digital gains, praises Spotify

CD sales still heading south, though

By Andrew Orlowski

Posted in Media, 2nd March 2010 15:18 GMT

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.