Streaming Accounts for Just 12.5% of All Warner Music Group Revenues…

Streaming accounts for 66 percent of total recording revenues in Norway, and more than 70 percent in Sweden.   But when it comes to Warner Music Group, a massive, multi-national major label and a major content supplier, streaming and subscription platforms account for just 12.5 percent of total revenues.  


The definition of ‘streaming’ includes a broad range of services and platforms, including YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, Rhapsody, Rdio, Sirius XM Radio, and internet-based radio station streams.  That’s a mix of ad-supported and subscription, but excludes paid lockers like iCloud and Amazon Cloud Drive.

According to financial documents filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) this week, streaming contributed $67 million to WMG’s bottom line last quarter, a 24 percent year-over-year increase.  Here’s the topline breakdown.


Actually, the digital breakdown shows that both downloads and streaming are increasing, with streaming increasing at a faster rate.  Last year, Warner revealed that 25 percent of its digital recording revenues were coming from ‘streaming and subscription’ formats.  One year later, that percentage is greater than 28 percent, according to the documents.

On the year, overall recording revenues are up 4 percent to $1.742 billion.


Written while listening to Lucy Schwartz.

25 Responses

  1. discography

    Sounds about accurate and on par with its market penetration. What were you trying to imply with the headline?
    The personal vendetta’s of those running this site really ruin what could be a good news outlet. Its utterly embarassing sometimes.

  2. Visitor

    The fact that streaming revenues eclipsed masters side licensing is much more relevant than comparing it to digital or physical sales.
    This is an incredibly young revenue stream that’s already beating out another stream that’s decades older and more established.

  3. Yves Villeneuve
    Yves Villeneuve

    There is not much growth remaining when it comes to YouTube type revenues.
    As for music subscription, Deezer is in every worthwhile country to offer these types of services and have so far proven consumers are not clamouring for them. Only 10% of those who try a music subscription are actually enjoying the experience as it coincides with their passion in life of consuming vast amounts of music. These music nerds don’t represent the average consumer. Growth here will only come from “conning” consumers into subscribing to a so-called free Premium subscription they will never use. What you will have is a music segment funded by unwanting consumers who have no passion in consuming vast amounts of music on a regular basis.

      • GGG

        If consumers consume tons of music through radio, why is the idea of consuming tons of music through streaming any different? There is obviously a price barrier (presuming free listening gets limited at some point), but your whole argument against streaming seems to be that most people don’t care enough about music to listen to more than a couple songs a day. Yet here you talk about “tons” of music consumption. Which is it?

        • Yves Villeneuve
          Yves Villeneuve

          It’s simple. The average music fan is not interested in making regular decisions on what they want to listen. They simply tune in to their favourite radio station and get their fix in random fashion every time, with very little thought or any other type of effort involved. Many also like the companionship of a talented radio announcer; live radio is a very social medium which humans in general tend to be. Most listen at work, in the car or while doing homework, or whatever. Constantly listening to personal playlists is a lonely experience best left for music nerds.

          • GGG

            Maybe it’s different in Bumblefuck, Canada, but in the US, radio is by and large an emotionless experience. Most music DJs are shitty carbon copies (bad ones at that) of old school radio personalities. Not to mention, formats are becoming so homogenous it’s ridiculous. NYC doesn’t have any remotely serviceable rock station, for example.
            I worked at AOL Radio years ago and we got millions upon millions of listeners, many of them (based on feedback) at-work listeners. We didn’t have on-air talent, it was just songs and a couple ads an hour. And trust me, based on which stations were most popular, the avg listener was far from a music nerd.
            Finding a playlist curator you enjoy (assuming this is made easier at some point) wouldn’t be hard nor dissimilar to listening to AOL Radio or Pandora or any other popular internet radio.

      • hippydog

        I hate to say it.. but yves makes a good point..
        Quote Yves:”I should add the average music fan consumes a ton of music through the most convenient of all delivery systems: radio. ”
        So.. lets look at that chart and see how much Radio’s percentage is?..
        umm. wait.. almost nothing?.. really ?
        your saying radio’s job is to sell CD’s? that portion that now accounts for only 33%?
        i think we have a problem here..

    • Chris

      “There is not much growth remaining when it comes to YouTube type revenues.” – NONSENSEYouTube revenues are alost doubling at my label every month

  4. Hypebot Hater
    Hypebot Hater

    The Math:
    Spotify +
    YouTube +
    Rdio +
    Rhapsody +
    Deezer +
    Radio Online Stations +
    Google Play Music Access +
    Sony Unlimited +
    Muve Music +
    WIMP +
    12.5 % ?

    And remember folks the rest — CD’s, downloads, ringtones — are crashing.
    Sorry, that’s low.

      • JTV Digital
        JTV Digital

        Ringtones have crashed everywhere…except on iTunes where it still sells with significant amounts.
        We can help with getting your songs as ringtones to iTunes 🙂
        J | digital distribution

  5. Visitor

    PR, how does this compare to the previous year? 5 years ago? Will you put together one of those handy gifs !

  6. Visitor

    So nearly half of what download revenues account for? For a relatively new business, that’s massive. “Just” is a bad descriptor.

  7. Visitor

    “Just”. ????
    Seeing as this is Digital Music News wouldn’t a more appropriate headline be “Digital music now accounts for 44.1% of WMG total revenue, of which Streaming is almost 30% !!”.

  8. Excavator

    Let’s also remember that WMG makes an undisclosed higher per-stream rate, so the pie graph applies to them alone. You can’t expect, as an individual or small label, to have a similar percentage.
    I also, while doing some royalty accounting this week, noticed that the streaming monies coming from Sweden are the highest by far. It seems that Sweden may have a higher per stream rate or a stronger payment system to artists / publishers. So when I see people saying that 70% of music income comes from streams there, I wonder if that has anything to do with it, and if so, it’s a key point to be included everywhere that statistic is mentioned.
    Will someone look into that?

  9. Japan

    Streaming is none existent in the world biggest music market. Warner Music Group is one of the major labels in Japan.

  10. Gary

    I had no idea so many people were still buying CDs. Haven’t bought one of those in years. I use torch music so that artists and labels get their cut, but in my mind the idea of CDs has been dead for quite some time.

    • jw

      No one is falling for your Torch Music astroturfing.


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