Universal Music, home to Taylor Swift, planning job cuts

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By Dan Sears

Universal Music Group, home of billionaire singer Taylor Swift, plans layoffs that can number in the hundreds this year, a company spokesperson said Friday.

The job cuts, which are expected in the first quarter, will mostly be in its recorded music division, Bloomberg News reported earlier in the day.

UMG did not comment on the exact number of jobs it may be cutting as the world’s largest record label joins a wave of company’s that have announced layoffs this year.

As of 2022, the company had nearly 10,000 employees globally, as stated in that year’s annual report.

Universal Music Group logo
Universal had nearly 10,000 employees globally at the end of 2022. REUTERS

The company’s third-quarter revenue — fueled by Swift, who’s “Era’s Tour” brought in $1 billion — grew about 3.3% year-on-year and nearly 10% in constant currency.

UMG’s focus has been on building its direct-to-customer and e-commerce operations in the past few years, chief executive Lucian Grainge said in an internal memo seen by Reuters on Friday.

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“In 2024, as we continue…investments in A&R and artist development, we will further evolve our organizational structure to create efficiencies in other areas of the business,” CEO Grainge added.

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift helped the company’s third-quarter revenue grow 3%. Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Grainge has been trumpeting UMG’s attempts to improve the economics of streaming and promote the responsible use of artificial intelligence.

Walt Disney’s Pixar Animation Studios is also set to cut jobs as the studio has completed production on some shows and now has more staff than it needs, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters on Thursday.

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