Why Sir Lucian Grainge got paid what he was paid in 2021 (and why it’s okay to be jealous)
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Welcome to the latest episode of Talking Trends, Music Business Worldwide’s weekly podcast – where we dig deep into the news headlines affecting the entertainment industry. Talking Trends is supported by Voly Music.
This week on Talking Trends, MBW founder Tim Ingham discusses the incredible amount of money paid to Universal Music Group boss Sir Lucian Grainge in 2021
Ingham calculates that Grainge received around $45 million in base salary plus annual bonuses in 2021, in addition to a nine-figure one-off payment related to Universal’s IPO on the Amsterdam stock exchange in September. .
Grainge’s astronomical salary in 2021 has agitated some sections of the music industry, but Ingham explains why – from the perspective of Universal shareholders – the UK executive was worth every penny of the huge one-off payment he has received.
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Much of this week’s episode focuses on this Guardian article from November 2021, and why Ingham thinks it’s problematic to compare a public company CEO/Chairman’s one-time payments to annual accrued royalties of British songwriters in 2019.
According to Ingham: “You can throw a fair argument ‘at the right time in the right place’ at any successful business leader – and there’s a good one to be made at Grainge, because he ran a rights company while people like Daniel Ek invested money to ensure that music streaming subscriptions became second nature to the consumer.
“But you can’t argue that Lucian Grainge didn’t show bold leadership and take incredibly risky steps based on a belief in the long-term value of music rights. A value, by the way, that continues to rise and rise and rise today.
Ingham adds: “We are talking about a growth in business valuation at Universal under the leadership of Sir Lucian Grainge of just under $48 billion in eight years. [from 2013 to 2021].
“So the executive of this company receiving a one-time bonus payment worth a quarter of a billion dollars actually seems like pretty good value from a shareholder perspective.”
Companies mentioned in this week’s episode of Talking Trends include: Activision Blizzard, EMI Music, Softbank, Tempo Music, Tencent, Universal Music Group.
People mentioned in this week’s episode of Talking Trends include: Bill Ackman, Josh Empson, Sir Lucian Grainge, Bobby Kotick, Ester McVey.
You can listen to MBW’s latest Talking Trends podcast above or via this link.