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UMG is Ready for Transformation

Universal Music Group, the world's largest record company, said that it was well-poised to transform itself from a "record company" to a "music entertainment company" by finally being able to take advantage of the technological changes that have aided illegal downloads and blighted the music industry in recent years.

Addressing a group of analysts and investors in London, UMG executives, including chairman and CEO Doug Morris and president and chief operating officer Zach Horowitz, said existing digital businesses will be "the engine of growth for the next several years."

The executives said that UMG, part of Vivendi Universal, did not intend to embrace one business model for the future, but would instead "aggressively pursue all avenues" to maximize profits. "New opportunities will emerge to monetize our assets and create new revenue streams," the company predicted.

Revenue from existing digital initiatives, including downloads, mobile and subscriptions, have risen from essentially nothing in the first-half 2003 to more than $121.8 million in first-half 2005, UMG said. Its U.S. digital market share to date is 36.1 percent, the company added.

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