Warner Music Group (WMG) lost $74 million during this year’s first three months (the company’s second fiscal quarter), due in part to issues stemming from the novel coronavirus crisis. But its streaming revenue experienced an 11 percent uptick.
Warner Music disclosed these and other earnings figures in its quarterly financial report, released earlier this morning.
The company’s total revenue decreased by 1.7 percent from the same period in 2019, to about $1.07 billion. However, 2019’s first quarter (ending on March 31st) brought with it a net income of $67 million, whereas 2020’s first quarter produced a net loss of $74 million, once again.
WMG, like virtually all other companies and professionals within the music industry, is facing an array of financial and operational challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Predictably, quarterly physical sales fell substantially, from $130 million in 2019 to $94 million this year. Tones and I, Lizzo, and Ed Sheeran were cited as some of Warner’s top sellers, in terms of physical music.
The earnings report also delivered several encouraging figures. WMG’s recorded-music streaming revenue hiked by 11 percent from last year. Moreover, recorded music’s overall digital earnings grew by five percent year over year, to $626 million, and music publishing’s overall digital income increased 14 percent year over year, to $74 million.
These points suggest that Warner Music is capable of weathering the coronavirus storm with its quickly expanding music-streaming earnings.
Similarly, sync revenue experienced a modest gain, improving from $31 million to $34 million during Q1 2020.
Addressing his company’s Q2 fiscal-year performance, Warner Music Group CEO Steve Cooper said: “I’m pleased that we’ve matched our excellent performance in the prior-year quarter, due in large part to an 11% increase in Recorded Music streaming revenue and a 17% increase in Music Publishing digital revenue. We’re confident that our distinctive combination of creative innovation and financial discipline will help us weather this storm and emerge stronger, better, and more agile than ever.”
Last week, Digital Music News was first to report that Warner Music had inked a global licensing deal with Mattel.