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November 1, 2022

Innovation Is Key To Weathering Macroeconomic Headwinds Says UMG’s Sir Lucian Grainge

As inflation continues to rise globally, Universal Music Group CEO, Sir Lucian Grainge, has highlighted UMG’s strong performance citing innovation and creating new business models as the key to weathering macroeconomic trends. 

Grainge shared some fascinating insights as part of UMG’s Q3 Earnings Call this week and has laid out how UMG is continuing to post strong results across its business despite a global economic downturn.  

Streaming Performance to Benefit From Strong Growth in Digital and Video Platforms

“Over the longer term, we believe UMG's streaming performance will benefit from overarching trends such as the increasing migration of advertisers to the digital space, especially to social media, and obviously video.” Grainge highlighted, acknowledging the continued boom of digital and video platforms.”

Focus Is On Driving Innovation Instead of Relying On Trends 

He noted though that they weren’t just sitting back and relying on trends to carry their results. 

“Our strategy goes far beyond positioning our company to passively benefit just from trends. Rather, we are catalysts of change, driving innovation, finding new ways to leverage our existing assets, and creating new business models, all of this in service to our artists, advancing their careers creatively and commercially, while at the same time growing the larger music ecosystem.” 

New Initiative, StemDrop, Announced To Discover New Talent 

Discussing new and innovative actions UMG are taking to diversify and discover new talent using technology and partnerships, he spoke in detail on the announcement of StemDrop which he believes will help to continue to grow their artist roster.

“One of the many reasons we've become such a powerful magnet for artists drawn to UMG as their home is our relentless drive to discover new talent all over the world and the innovative ways we employ just to do that.

For example, last week we announced a new music initiative called StemDrop, in partnership with Simon Cowell's Syco Entertainment with TikTok. StemDrop allows TikTok's community of over 1 billion users to collaborate with iconic songwriters like Max Martin to create new versions of tracks written specifically for the program.

UMG and Republic Records will have the exclusive right to sign creators that are discovered through this initiative. This highly innovative project harnesses the scale of TikTok while leveraging the artistry of creators worldwide.

Our years of experience with emerging platforms has made it clear that experiments like StemDrop often provide the most productive route for us to continue to lead the commercial evolution of the music ecosystem.”

Ingrooves Technology Transforming The Way Artists Reach New Audiences

Grainge also revealed how Ingrooves will help transform the way artists reach new audiences and sustain listeners in the current environment where reach and retention are becoming increasingly harder for artists. 

“Our track record of innovation is not limited to our partnerships with platforms. Within UMG itself, we have some of the world's leading experts in data and analytics, consumer insights, sound recording, and consumer audio products.

These individuals are creating some of the most exciting and transformative technologies for years to come. We'll change the way fans enjoy music.

Ingrooves is a world leader in music distribution, marketing and the technology was recently issued its third in a series of U.S. patents that are transforming the way artists reach new audiences and sustain listeners in today's engagement and economy and increasing streams on leading BSBs.

The new patent extends the capability of detection technology to short-form video platforms such as TikTok, YouTube shorts and Instagram Reels. The technology enables artists and labels to analyze early trends to determine which user-generated content (UGC) will be highly likely to migrate to digital streaming services.

This patented invention will give a head start, that is additional lead time for marketing activities even before significant growth in streaming occurs by spotlighting those particularly clear opportunities to grow audiences on digital streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music.

That technology will be available to Ingrooves clients and will also be leveraged as part of UMG's proprietary A&R and marketing source.”

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