17. Universal Music Group
U.S. 2010 digital revenue: $670 million
Snapshot: Universal Music is the top seller of digital music in the U.S. The company is also a founding partner in Vevo, the music industry’s music-video joint venture with Google and Abu Dhabi Media.
Key digital move in 2010: A change at the top: Universal Music Group International CEO Lucian Grainge was appointed co-CEO of Universal Music, along with long-time CEO Doug Morris. Earlier this month, Morris was appointed CEO of rival Sony Music Entertainment, leaving Grainge with the lone CEO title.
While an increasing percentage of Universal Music’s sales may be coming from digital sources, Grainge hasn’t given up on the CD format just yet. When he was promoted, he told the New York Times he thought the CD would outlast him.
How we generated our estimate: The company wouldn’t comment, although sources tell us its U.S. digital revenue is about $666 million.