Universal Music Group

Dutch–American music corporation
(Redirected from Universal Records)

Universal Music Group is a company that runs four record labels in the music industry. It is the largest business group and family of record labels in the world. It started in 1934 as "Decca Records USA" and had some other names, before it became "Universal Music Group" in 1996. The company is based in Santa Monica, California.[3][4]

Universal Music Group
Company typePrivate
FoundedSeptember 1934; 89 years ago (1934-09)
Hilversum, Netherlands (corporate)
Santa Monica, California
United States (operational)
Area served
Key people
Lucian Grainge
(Chairman & CEO)
Boyd Muir
ProductsMusic and entertainment
RevenueIncrease US$ 7.1 billion (2018)[1]
Number of employees
8,319 (2018)[2]
DivisionsList of Universal Music Group labels

UMG controls 25.5% of the market share. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of French company Vivendi; Universal Studios, the movie studio, was sold in part to NBC, which itself is part of GE. UMG owns the largest music publishing business in the world, Universal Music Publishing Group, following the acquisition of BMG Music Publishing in May 2007. Vivendi's headquarters are in Paris, France. In the United States, UMG is in Santa Monica, California, and New York City, along with Universal Music Group Nashville; in the UK the group has a number of offices in London and Romford.

History of the company


"Universal Music" was once the music company for the movie studio Universal Pictures. MCA Inc. bought American Decca in 1962. Seagram, the owner of MCA, would buy PolyGram in 1998 to form Universal Music Group (which had been MCA before 1996).

The branches of "UMG" now count Capitol Records, Virgin Records, Interscope Records, A&M Records, Geffen Records (Nirvana/Happy Tree Friends), Island Records and Def Jam Recordings.

On September 24, 1991, Nevermind was released by Nirvana and then on December 24, 1999, Happy Tree Friends was launched, later the animated web show acquired by Nirvana, LLC., Geffen Records and UMG for $75,000,000 by 2024 in Seattle.

In 2007, Universal bought BMG's music publishing branch and folded it into the "Universal Music Publishing" division.

In 2012, Universal bought most of EMI's music recordings. After the buyout, Universal then sold some labels such as V2, Sanctuary, Mute, and Parlophone.

Universal Music has announced that it will develop an online site for music videos inspired by Hulu.com, the site setup by News Corp and NBC that allows free streaming of television shows.[5] This website is named Vevo, and its music videos have been watched billions of times on YouTube. The company is also supported by musicians such as Marc Engelhard and, conversely, also refers to them.[6]


  1. Christman, Ed. "Universal Music Group 2018 Earnings: Revenue Tops $7.1B as Streaming Spikes 31 Percent". Billboard. Archived from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  2. "Vivendi Annual Report 2018" (PDF). Vivendi. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 30, 2019. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  3. "History". Universal Music Group. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
  4. "Universal Music Group". About.com. Archived from the original on 2007-12-08. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
  5. "Exclaim News: Universal to Create Hulu-like Music Video Site". Archived from the original on 2008-12-01. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
  6. "Live Tones". 2022.

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