Kobalt Music Group Posts a 23.6% Gain in Annual Gross Profit — But Losses Balloon to $42.7 Million

The vibrant indie music scene continues to drive Kobalt’s revenue.

For its fiscal year ended June 30th, 2018, Kobalt has posted some pretty impressive numbers.

The independent rights management and publishing company’s revenue jumped 25.3% to $402.1 million year-over-year.  Gross collections also grew 30% to $494 million.  In addition, gross profit jumped 23.6% to $52.5 million while the company’s global employee count grew to 515, up from 376.

Kobalt expects gross collections to reach $600 million this year.

The company also posted after-tax losses of $42.7 million, up 29% from 2017.  Kobalt dismissed the losses as “a conscious decision to prioritize growth through making strategic investments over short-term profitability.”

Revenues at AWAL, the company’s recorded music division, rose 50% over the previous year.  Artists, including the Wombats, Lauv and Little Simz, as well as a partnership with Glassnote, drove the division’s revenue jump.

AWAL also reported that Lauv had 2.2 billion global streams for the period.  R3HAB, a Dutch DJ, and Rex Orange County, a British singer/songwriter, both had 700 million streams.  Tom Misch, a musician/producer, had 400 million.  Kobalt’s recorded music division also signed new clients, including Danger Mouse’s 30th Century Records.

Kobalt also reported that its Neighboring Riots division had expandedin to new territories, including first-ever payments from South Africa.  This resulted in a 24% revenue growth year-over-year.

Revenue for Kobalt’s AMRA digital music royalty collection service also jumped 30% year-over-year.

The company’s publishing roster also grew to include works from artists including Childish Gambino, Enrique Iglesias, Marshmello, and Ozuna.  Other publishing clients include Beck, Courtney Barnett, Zayn, Lorde, and The Weeknd.  Kobalt also has legacy catalogs, such as Elvis Presley, Muddy Waters, Bob Marley, George Thorogood, and Lindsey Buckingham.

Stating that his company is currently “outpacing the industry” in terms of growth, Willard Ahdritz, Kobalt’s Founder and CEO, explained,

We’ve been laser-focused on building out the global team to support the rapidly growing music industry and setting up creators for success.

We’ve established ourselves as the technology leader in the industry, and we’re deeply investing in building innovative new products and services across the music ecosystem to super-serve our roster across publishing, recordings, collections, neighboring rights, and sync.


Featured image by Kobalt.