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UMG’s $2.2 Billion Talent Splurge Shows Rise of New Rivals

  • New competitors are driving up cost of hiring, keeping artists
  • Majors also challenged by investors buying rights to big hits

Universal Music Group has doubled the money it’s put into artists and songwriters in just two years as a competitive music market sends talent costs soaring. 

UMG said advances for artists and repertoire owners in 2020 were 1.86 billion euros ($2.2 billion), up from 1.05 billion euros in 2018. The music major, valued at 35 billion euros, published the figures Tuesday in a prospectus for its listing expected next week in Amsterdam.