Universal Music Publishing Group
IndustryMusic industry
PredecessorBMG Music Publishing
PolyGram Music Publishing
MCA Music Publishing
Founded1972; 51 years ago (1972)
1999; 24 years ago (1999)(Name change)
Area served
Key people
ServicesMusic publishing
ParentUniversal Music Group

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) is a North American music publishing company and is part of the Universal Music Group. It was formerly known as MCA Music Publishing until it merged with PolyGram.

Universal Music Publishing is the world's second largest music publishing company, behind Sony Music Publishing.[1] UMPG's catalogue consists of over three million songs, with offices in over 30 countries.


In 1998, Seagram acquired PolyGram for $10.4 billion.[2] PolyGram's music business was merged into Seagram's MCA Records. The merger was effected in January 1999, forming a new company named Universal Music Group. The merger also included both record labels' music publishers.[3] The PolyGram catalog included Dick James Music, Welk Music, Cedarwood Publishing, and Sweden Music.[4] MCA had been in the music publishing business since 1964, when it acquired Lou Levy's Leeds Music.[5]

In August 2000, UMPG acquired Rondor Music from Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss for roughly $400 million. It included former music publishing arms of A&M Records, I.R.S. Records, Stax Records, and Shelter Records, as well as Sea of Tunes. The purchase added 60,000 copyrights to Universal's library.[6]

In 2006, Universal Music Publishing Group acquired BMG Music Publishing from Bertelsmann Music Group for €1.63 billion, back then the third largest publishing group in the world, making Universal Music the largest music publisher in the world. It included the catalogs of Éditions Durand and Casa Ricordi and former music publishing arms of Benson Records and Zomba. As part of the acquisition of BMG Music Publishing, Universal divested the catalogues of Zomba UK (and the European rights to Zomba USA), Rondor UK, 19 Music and BBC to a new company named Imagem (now part of Concord Music Publishing).[7]

On May 7, 2013, UMPG acquired American music publisher Criterion Music Corporation.[8]

On January 1, 2015, Jody Gerson was named the chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group, becoming the first female to run a major music publishing company.[9] On December 3, 2015, she was named Executive of the Year by Billboard Magazine in its Women in Music issue.[10] Sony/ATV Music Publishing overtook Universal Music Publishing as the world's largest music publisher in 2013 after acquiring EMI Music Publishing.[11]


UMPG administers the 60,000 title Rondor Music Catalog and also owns or administers a multitude of others including: Interscope and Def Jam Music, WildBrain, Amazon Studios and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, All Nations Music, Charlie Daniels, Casa Ricordi, Matraca Berg, DreamWorks Animation, HBO, Paramount Global (excluding CBS and Showtime Networks), Warner Bros., Sesame Street, Lionsgate,[12] Disney Music Group,[13] Forerunner Music, Epitaph Records, Greenwich/Barry, Momentum Publishing, and John Philips. UMPG also owns or administers the works of Leonard Bernstein and Henry Mancini (non-USA), and Dsign Music.


Universal Music Publishing Group Australia & NZ is based in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.[14] Marianna Annas, former Head of ABC Music Publishing until January 2020, is as of June 2021 Vice President, Commercial & Creative at the company,[15][16]


  1. ^ "First-Quarter Music Publishing Rankings: SONGS Surges Again". billboard.com. 2014. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
  2. ^ "Seagram buys PolyGram from Philips for $10.6bn". independent.co.uk. May 22, 1998. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  3. ^ "CMJ New Music Report". CMJ Network, Inc. March 22, 1999. Retrieved April 4, 2018 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Hardy, Phil (March 17, 2014). Nickels & Dimes: Music Publishing & It's [sic] Administration in the Modern Age (Music Publishing And How It Works). Omnibus Press. p. 174. ISBN 978-0-85712-877-5.
  5. ^ "MCA BUYS LEEDS, MUSIC PUBLISHER; Entertainment Concern Gets Assets and Copyrights". The New York Times. November 26, 1964. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
  6. ^ "Universal Music Agrees to Acquire Rondor in $400 Million Stock Deal". Wall Street Journal. August 3, 2000.
  7. ^ "European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Mergers: Commission approves Universal's proposed takeover of BMG's music publishing business, subject to commitments". europa.eu. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  8. ^ "Universal Music Publishing Acquires Criterion Music Corp".
  9. ^ "No. 8: Jody Gerson - Power 100". Billboard. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
  10. ^ "Women in Music 2015: Jody Gerson Named Executive of the Year". Billboard. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  11. ^ "Zach Horowitz Appointed Chairman/CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group | Billboard". Billboard.biz. April 18, 2012. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  12. ^ "Lionsgate & UMPG Sign Exclusive Long-Term Agreement". Billboard. August 2, 2018. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  13. ^ "UMPG and Disney Music Publishing partnership goes global". musicweek.com. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  14. ^ "Our company". Universal Music Australia. August 6, 2020. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  15. ^ Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (2020). "Directors' Report" (PDF). Annual Financial Report 30 June 2020 (Report). AMCOS. p. 1.
  16. ^ Brandle, Lars (January 13, 2021). "The Wiggles sign global deal with Universal Music Publishing Group". The Industry Observer. Retrieved June 10, 2021.