Warner Music Group Quarterly Earnings Jump 42% (Thank You, Streaming)

Warner Music Group HQ, Downtown LA
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Warner Music Group HQ, Downtown LA
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Warner Music Group HQ, Downtown LA

Warner Music Group (WMG) just reported a very solid first-quarter growth.

Warner Music Group (WMG) recorded substantial profits in the first quarter of its fiscal year, which began in October of 2019 and ended on December 31st.

In an earnings report issued this morning, WMG revealed that total revenue increased by 4.4 percent (5.5 percent in constant currency, which omits losses brought on by currency fluctuations) from the same period in 2018. Similarly, digital revenue grew by 12.6 percent from Q1 2018 (13.5 percent in constant currency), and net income saw a $36 million boost, from $86 million to $122 million.

That is nearly a 42% bump, thanks to a continued surge in streaming-related revenues.

Predictably, WMG’s physical sales declined, while streaming and digital purchases performed well enough to increase recorded music’s overall revenue by 4.1 percent (5.1 percent in constant currency). However, it is worth noting that licensing revenue fell from 2018’s first fiscal quarter; WMG attributed this decline to the “impact of foreign exchange rates and timing.”

Recorded music revenue was reported to have grown “in all regions,” with TWICE, Lizzo, Coldplay, and Ed Sheeran cited as “major sellers.”

WMG also claimed to possess approximately $462 million on-hand, with debts totaling about three billion dollars.

In a statement, WMG CEO Steve Cooper said, “Our Q1 results were very strong. We achieved the highest quarterly revenue in our sixteen-year history as a stand-alone company.”

WMG was traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) until 2011, when it was purchased (and turned private) by Access Industries, a New York-based conglomerate.

As one of the “big three” recording companies, WMG has some of today’s most popular recording artists in its ranks. Elektra Records, Warner Records, and Atlantic Records—three of the foremost record labels—are owned by WMG, as is music publishing powerhouse Warner Chappell Music.

WMG’s previous fiscal year was similarly encouraging, representing a major uptick in both revenue and profits.

3 Responses

  1. ben

    I’m just wondering why a forest image has been used for this article?
    knowing that streaming is ALL BUT ecolological..

    now ..if Warner (or any other major) to plant a tree every 1 Millions copies sold.. then.. .. but so far it’s just blatant green washing attempt..

    All your billions will never save your children or help them to breat clean air.

    just saying..

  2. Trumbo

    Deceptive, at best. An seemingly significant increase in revenue after a massive dip in revenue does not mean a lot.

  3. Johnny

    I used to be signed to WB and they used to give us a Rolls Royce car to drive around in, while making appearances at Record stores. This gave the public the impression that we were successful and wealthy. Of course we could hardly afford to put gas in the car! Come to find WE were paying for the Rolls Royce from our pathetic Royalties. Just another deduction and expense for the artist. The Record companies continue to portray the musicians as wealthy while paying them next to nothing. And the fans buy this info thinking that all musicians are driving around in Limos and flying in Private jets when in fact they are broke (or going broke) in this new era where everybody is making money in the music business except the people who make the music! Amazing how the public can be fooled and brainwashed by the media!