Universal Music Publishing Group
IndustryMusic industry
PredecessorBMG Music Publishing
PolyGram Music Publishing
MCA Music Publishing
Founded1972; 52 years ago (1972)
1999; 25 years ago (1999)(Name change)
Area served
Key people
  • Jody Gerson (Chairman and CEO)
  • Marc Cimino (COO)
  • JW Beekman (CFO)
ServicesMusic publishing
ParentUniversal Music Group

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) is a global music publishing company and is part of the Universal Music Group. Universal Music Publishing has been ranked the #1 music publisher in market share by Billboard for multiple consecutive quarters.[1]

The company is home to major songwriters and artists, including Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, Rosalía, Steve Lacy, Elton John, Adele, SZA, Harry Styles, Post Malone and more. UMPG has recently made historic catalogue acquisitions, including Bob Dylan, Sting, and Neil Diamond.[2] UMPG's catalogue consists of over four million songs, with offices in 40 countries.[3][4]


UMPG was formerly known as MCA Music Publishing until it merged with PolyGram in 1998 when Seagram acquired PolyGram for $10.4 billion.[5] 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.[6] The PolyGram catalog included Dick James Music, Welk Music, Cedarwood Publishing, and Sweden Music.[7] MCA had been in the music publishing business since 1964, when it acquired Lou Levy's Leeds Music.[8]

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.[9]

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).[10] Sony/ATV Music Publishing overtook Universal Music Publishing as the world's largest music publisher in 2013 after acquiring EMI Music Publishing.[11]

On May 7, 2013, UMPG acquired American music publisher Criterion Music Corporation.[12]

On January 1, 2015, Jody Gerson was named the chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group, becoming the first woman CEO of a global music company and the first female to run a major music publishing company.[13][14] Gerson made history as the first publishing executive and first woman to be named Billboard's 'Executive of the Year' for their Power 100 list.[3] She was also named Variety Hitmakers' Executive of the Year in 2019.[15] In December 2015, she was named Executive of the Year by Billboard Magazine in its Women in Music issue.[16]

In March 2023, UMPG was ranked No. 1 on Billboard's Publishers Quarterly on the Hot 100 for the third consecutive quarter, which is taken from official Hot 100 chart data. Additionally, the portfolio publisher made history holding more than 30% market share for the past three quarters, a record that has not been achieved by any publisher since 2014.[1][17]

On February 27, 2024, TikTok announced that its license to use UMPG's catalogue would expire on March 1. At the beginning of February 2024, Universal Music Group had removed its entire recorded catalogue from the app.[18]


UMPG is the music publishing partner of many film/TV studios globally, including Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Lionsgate, MGM, Paramount, Disney Europe (and other territories), Viacom, Amazon, HBO, DreamWorks, DreamWorks Animation, Legendary Pictures, MarVista Entertainment, NBC, and Sesame Workshop, among many others.[19]

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 MGM 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,[20] Disney Music Group,[21] Forerunner Music, Epitaph Records, Greenwich/Barry, Momentum Publishing, and John Philips. UMPG also owns or administers the works of Leonard Bernstein and Henry Mancini, and Dsign Music.


UMPG has 48 offices across 40 countries around the world.[4] Universal Music Publishing Group Australia & NZ is based in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.[22] Marianna Annas, former Head of ABC Music Publishing until January 2020, is as of June 2021 Vice President, Commercial & Creative at the company,[23][24]


  1. ^ a b "Taylor Swift Is Top Songwriter; Sony, Universal Duel as Top Publishers – Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved September 1, 2023.
  2. ^ "Jody Gerson to Receive 2023 Ralph Peer II Award From International Music Publishers". Billboard. Retrieved September 1, 2023.
  3. ^ a b "Jody Gerson, Billboard's Power Executive of the Year". Billboard. Retrieved September 1, 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Gibson Announces Brand Partnership with Universal Music Publishing in China". KramerGuitars.com. Retrieved September 1, 2023.
  5. ^ "Seagram buys PolyGram from Philips for $10.6bn". independent.co.uk. May 22, 1998. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  6. ^ "CMJ New Music Report". CMJ Network, Inc. March 22, 1999. Retrieved April 4, 2018 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ "Universal Music Agrees to Acquire Rondor in $400 Million Stock Deal". Wall Street Journal. August 3, 2000.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ "Zach Horowitz Appointed Chairman/CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group | Billboard". Billboard.biz. April 18, 2012. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  12. ^ "Universal Music Publishing Acquires Criterion Music Corp".
  13. ^ "Jody Gerson: the first female CEO of a major music company". Music Business Worldwide. Retrieved September 1, 2023.
  14. ^ "No. 8: Jody Gerson - Power 100". Billboard. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
  15. ^ "Five Years In, How Hitmakers' Top Executive Jody Gerson Remade UMPG in Her Image". Variety. Retrieved September 1, 2023.
  16. ^ "Women in Music 2015: Jody Gerson Named Executive of the Year". Billboard. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  18. ^ https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/tiktok-has-already-started-removing-universals-music-publishing-catalog-from-its-platform
  19. ^ "Universal Music Publishing Group Guide". Music Gateway. Retrieved September 1, 2023.
  20. ^ "Lionsgate & UMPG Sign Exclusive Long-Term Agreement". Billboard. August 2, 2018. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  21. ^ "UMPG and Disney Music Publishing partnership goes global". musicweek.com. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  22. ^ "Our company". Universal Music Australia. August 6, 2020. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  23. ^ Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (2020). "Directors' Report" (PDF). Annual Financial Report 30 June 2020 (Report). AMCOS. p. 1.
  24. ^ Brandle, Lars (January 13, 2021). "The Wiggles sign global deal with Universal Music Publishing Group". The Industry Observer. Retrieved June 10, 2021.