From YouTube’s $6bn payout to UMG’s mtheory label division acquisition… it’s MBW’s Weekly Round-Up – Music Business Worldwide


Welcome to Music Business Worldwide’s weekly round-up – where we make sure you caught the five biggest stories to hit our headlines over the past seven days. MBW’s round-up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximise their income and reduce their touring costs.


YouTube had some big news for the music industry this week.

On Tuesday (September 13), the platform’s Global Head of Music, Lyor Cohen, announced that YouTube paid music rightsholders over USD $6 billion in the 12 months to end of June 2022.

Cohen also confirmed this week that some 30% of that USD $6 billion-plus that YouTube delivered to music rightsholders in the year to end of June came specifically from UGC (user-generated content).

Or to put it in simpler terms: YouTube is now paying music rightsholders somewhere close to $2 billion annually in ad revenue generated from UGC.

Also this week, the Goldman Sachs Communacopia + Technology Conference hosted separate Q&A sessions with Universal Music Group Chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge, and Warner Music Group CEO, Steve Cooper.

During Sir Lucian Grainge’s interview, he commented on music streaming’s growth prospects in the face of the economic uncertainty and the cost of living crisis, and on the balance of power between the labels and DSPs.

Steve Cooper meanwhile, explained that Warner Music is becoming less financially dependent on superstar artists – and wants to see “regular” streaming price rises.

Elsewhere this week, Universal acquired mtheory’s label division, with JT Myers and Nat Pastor appointed to run UMG’s global artist services business, while Tencent Music confirmed that it will be going public in Hong Kong without raising new funds.

Here’s what happened this week…


Lyor Cohen

1) YOUTUBE SAYS IT PAID THE MUSIC INDUSTRY OVER $6BN IN THE PAST YEAR – WITH AROUND $2BN COMING FROM UGC

YouTube says it still has its sights on overtaking Spotify as the music rights industry’s biggest partner by 2025 – although right now the two firms appear to be just about keeping pace with one another.

On Tuesday (September 13), YouTube’s Global Head of Music, Lyor Cohen, announced that YouTube paid music rightsholders over USD $6 billion in the 12 months to end of June 2022.

That figure is significant for a number of reasons, not least that it’s a $2 billion increase from the $4 billion contribution to music rightsholders that YouTube said it paid out in the prior-year period (the 12 months to end of June 2021).

It’s also double the size of the money that YouTube said it paid to the music industry in the calendar year of 2019 ($3 billion)…


2) SIR LUCIAN GRAINGE ON STREAMING GROWTH, CATALOG DEALS AND THE BALANCE OF POWER BETWEEN LABELS VS. DSPS

Sir Lucian Grainge doesn’t do many interviews, so when he does speak publicly, it’s worth paying close attention to the man at the helm of the world’s largest music rights company.

Grainge, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Music Group participated in a Q&A session on Monday (September 12) at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia + Technology Conference in San Francisco.

During the interview, Grainge was grilled on his views about premium music streaming’s growth potential, and the company’s approach to catalog investments.

He argued that UMG has done “very few deals,” but that the deals the company has done are for works that have “defined history or a culture”..


Warner Music Group CEO, Steve Cooper

3) STEVE COOPER: WARNER MUSIC IS BECOMING LESS FINANCIALLY DEPENDENT ON SUPERSTAR ARTISTS – AND WANTS TO SEE ‘REGULAR’ STREAMING PRICE RISES

D’you know the best time to interview a C-suite executive at a giant music company? When they’ve already announced they’re leaving.

That way, they can be a little less tight-lipped. A little less worried about keeping the peace. A little more ‘mic drop’.

That certainly applied to Warner Music Group CEO, Steve Cooper, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia + Technology Conference in San Francisco on Monday (September 12).

Cooper, of course, confirmed earlier this year that he is to exit Warner in 2023, and is currently running the major as it searches for his successor.

The exec was typically considered in his Q&A session with Goldman – but he also didn’t miss the opportunity to tackle a number of industry talking points head-on and with surprising candor…


4) UNIVERSAL ACQUIRES MTHEORY’S LABEL DIVISION; JT MYERS AND NAT PASTOR TO RUN UMG’S GLOBAL ARTIST SERVICES BUSINESS

Universal Music Group just made a gigantic announcement encompassing several elements that, individually, are each huge stories in their own right.

The first big part of the news is that Universal has acquired mtheory Artist Partnerships, the label division of US music company mtheory, founded in 2010 by widely respected executives, JT Myers and Nat Pastor.

Amongst the many reasons that UMG’s deal with mtheory is particularly interesting is that UMG hasn’t made a significant company acquisition in some time.

The deal also effectively serves as an ‘acqui-hire’, with mtheory’s founders being appointed as Co-CEOs of a new global division called Virgin Music Group that consolidates UMG’s artist services businesses…


5) CONFIRMED: TENCENT MUSIC TO GO PUBLIC IN HONG KONG WITHOUT RAISING NEW FUNDS

Tencent Music Entertainment has confirmed that it is launching a secondary listing in Hong Kong by way of introduction, meaning that the company will not raise new funds or issue new shares unlike in traditional IPOs.

The Chinese music streaming giant, which operates QQ Music, Kugou and Kuwo, confirmed that it will list its class A ordinary shares by way of introduction on the Hong Kong stock exchange’s main board, according to a media release on Wednesday (September 14).

The disclosure confirms a report by Bloomberg on Wednesday (September 14) about TME’s plan to go public in Hong Kong…


MBW’s Weekly Round-Up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximise their income and reduce their touring costs.

 Music Business Worldwide

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